THE EFFECT OF MULTI-TRAILER SYSTEMS ON THE EFFICIENCY OF CONTAINER MOVEMENTS BETWEEN THE SHIP AND THE STACKS AT THE DURBAN CONTAINER TERMINAL
Keywords:container port operations, tractor trailer systems, discrete event simulation
Tractor-trailer units are the primary horizontal transport medium between the ship and the stacking area in container ports, and their efficient operation has a strong influence on loading and unloading rates. This paper presents a comparative study of the vessel loading and unloading procedure at the Port of Durban for conventional tractor-trailer units versus short multi-trailer systems. A discrete event simulation approach was used to model the terminal’s operations using the two types of vehicles, and to analyse the effect on the terminal’s performance and operating costs. The results of the study showed that the current fleet of tractor-trailer units can be replaced by a fleet of multi-trailer systems capable of carrying four twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) each, resulting in equivalent quay crane productivity while reducing the terminal’s operating cost per shift for the horizontal transport subsystem.
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