Ports provide jetty facilities for ships to load and unload their cargo. Jetty capacity is costly and therefore limited, causing delays for arriving ships. However, ship delays are also costly, so terminal operators attempt to min imize their number and duration. Here, simulation has proved to be a very suitable tool. However, in port simulation models, the impact of the arrival process of ships on the model outcomes tends to be underestimated. This report considers three arrival processes: stock-controlled, equidistant, and uncontrolled. We assess how their deployment in a port simulation model, based on data from a real case study, affects the efficiency of the loading and unloading process, making a case for careful modeling of arrival processes in port simulations. Uncontrolled, which is an assumed arrival process property in many client-oriented simulations, actually performs worst in terms of both ship delays and required storage capacity. Stock-controlled arrivals perform best with regard to large vessel delays and storage capacity. Additional control of the arrival process through the application of a priority scheme in processing ships further impacts efficiency in all three cases.

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ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Asperen, E., Dekker, R., Polman, M., de Swaan Arons, H., & Waltman, L. (2003). Arrival Processes for Vessels in a Port Simulation (No. ERS-2003-067-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/973