A Simulation Model for a Container Terminal

A Simulation Model for a Container Terminal


G E Canterella, S de Luca, A Carteni, University of Salerno, IT


A discrete event simulation model is developed for a performance analysis of the Salerno Container Terminal. The model implemented has been used to simulate real and hypothetic scenarios in order to improve the system efficiency.


Today the efficiency of container terminals (CT) plays a relevant role in freight transportation. Most existing contributions to the simulation of terminal operations follow a microscopic approach that allows for detailed analysis. Such an approach may lead to computational problems and is rather computer demanding, especially when resulting models are to be used to support optimization, hence most existing applications focus on specific operations, aimed at supporting operational management. On the other hand, decisions about the container terminal configuration regard types and number of handling means, berth and yard layout, etc. which may be also dealt through a macroscopic approach, based on container flows rather than single container movement, to simulate all the activities in a container terminal.
This paper is part of a more general research project aimed at container terminal analysis, say simulation and optimization. Several main modelling approaches will be followed: macroscopic models based on continuous flow networks, microscopic models based on discrete event models, or on coloured Petri networks (say logical and/or time and/or multi-type discrete flow networks). All of them will be applied for supporting performance analysis of a container terminal through performance indicators. The whole methodology will be applied to analyze the performances of Salerno Container Terminal.
In particular, this paper proposes a discrete event simulation model, which can be rather easily calibrated against real data, and applied to analyze the current configuration and to simulate and evaluate alternative design configurations.


Association for European Transport