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Title: A study on modern container terminal efficiency
Authors: Tong, Hang Fa
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: This thesis focuses on terminal efficiency in the modern container shipping industry, addressing three principal research questions: 1) How is a modern container terminal's efficiency, as commonly represented by the annual throughput volume, determined in principle during the different planning and operations stages in a terminal? 2) What are the hidden influences on terminal efficiency performance and how can they be accounted for in possible berth allocation solutions when vessel schedules fluctuate severely? 3) What is the effect on terminal efficiency and the best berth allocation arrangement when additional vessels are added to the original vessel set? In Chapter 2, four key determinants are proposed after a detailed literature review on the topic. The effect of each determinant on terminals is elaborated. Together forming a comprehensive efficiency development space, the four key determinants are integrated container terminal design, terminal information system, customer service strategy, and operations planning and execution. A clear understanding of terminal efficiency in terms of costs, time, and quality is offered. In Chapter 3, the first hidden influence on efficiency is introduced. The concept of vessel workload waiting time is defined and modeled for an effective solution, called "vessel reberth arrangement," in the berth allocation process for the best operational performance. Exceptionally long vessel berthing periods are reduced and terminal operational efficiency is effectively increased using the proposed solution. In Chapter 4, the second hidden influence on efficiency is introduced. The concept of additional vessel workload demand is defined and modeled for another permanent solution, called "spare vessel window management," in the berth allocation process for the best operational and business performance. Additional vessel workload demand is reviewed, and how it can be served at the lowest operational cost and causing the highest business profit without adversely affecting regularly operated vessels is determined. This study contributes to the literature on container terminal efficiency in several ways. First, it identifies the four key determinants that form the efficiency development space for all types of container terminals. The impact of an improvement in one area on the overall strategy can be measured using these four key determinants. Second, the vessel workload waiting time problem is solved using the proposed reberth modeling strategy without the requirement of additional capital resources or staff. Terminal efficiency is not only improved at the quayside but also in the storage areas and along container movement routes. Third, the additional vessel service request problem is solved using the proposed spare window modeling, again without the requirement of additional capital resources or staff. Increased business profit is ensured when the optimal vessel berthing arrangement is employed. Terminal efficiency is improved with high flexibility and reliability. In practical terms, this study can help different players in the terminal and shipping industry to obtain a better understanding of modern terminal efficiency and how it can be improved without extra investment in capital or human resources, resulting in higher resource utilization and business profit.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Container terminals -- Management
Container terminals -- Cost effectiveness
Container terminals -- Economic aspects
Pages: 202 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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