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Design, simulation, and evaluation of automated container terminals

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3 Author(s)
C. -I. Liu ; Electr. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Southern California, San Jose, CA, USA ; H. Jula ; P. A. Ioannou

Due to the boom in world trade, port authorities are looking into ways of making existing facilities more efficient. One way to improve efficiency, increase capacity, and meet future demand is to use advanced technologies and automation in order to speed up terminal operations. In this paper, we design, analyze, and evaluate four different automated container terminal (ACT) concepts. These concepts include automated container terminals based on the use of automated guidance vehicles (AGVs), a linear motor conveyance system (LMCS), an overhead grid rail system (GR), and a high-rise automated storage and retrieval structure (AS/RS). We use future demand scenarios to design the characteristics of each terminal in terms of configuration, equipment and operations. A microscopic simulation model is developed and used to simulate each terminal system for the same operational scenario and evaluate its performance. A cost model is used to evaluate the cost associated with each terminal concept. Our results indicate that automation could improve the performance of conventional terminals substantially and at a much lower cost. Among the four concepts considered the one based on automated guidance vehicles is found to be the most effective in terms of performance and cost

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )