History of simulation in ports
Simulation technology has been used in the branch of ports and terminals since the 80ies of the last century for terminal layout planning and rough operational strategies. It became a standard methodology for answering questions, which are occurring during the various phases of a terminal:
Planners and terminal operators are not only looking at Greenfield terminals, also Brownfield ones (existing terminals with re-organisation or extension needs) are analysed using this technology to find the optimal mixture of equipment and layout decisions. E.g. Transnet’s Capacity Planning Group is checking each investment request from any of their South African terminals and in complex situation they simulate to secure the decision.
Beginning with the development of first fully automated terminals in the 90ies (ECT/Rotterdam, CTA/Hamburg) also emulation technology was implemented in this branch, resulting in Virtual Terminals, which provide test beds for the terminal Operation Systems (TOS) and for the start-up of terminals. In this case the simulation model of the terminal is directly connected to a test-instance of the TOS. In this way strategy improvements are tested before going live on the real terminal.