Assessing the Role of Mobile Terminals to Reduce Container Barge Inefficiency in Seaports
This study examines how to eliminate the inefficiencies in inland waterborne transport (IWT) by reducing sailing and waiting times at ports without expensive modifications to terminal infrastructures. A new concept known as the Modular Mobile Terminals (MMTs) is examined to achieve this and its potential feasibility in seaports. In doing this, the present paper develops a time savings optimization model that evaluates regions that would be suitable to be linked based on the time gains that can be derived by using the MMTs. In addition, a cost model is developed to determine the net savings of the actors and the positive business case that can be derived by using the MMTs.
Results revealed that regions, where vessels have low load factors, would have a positive business case for using the MMTs. The small call sizes transported from the regions can be consolidated at the MMTs and transferred in high volume to dedicated deepsea terminals. This reduces the port time for the barges involved while ensuring that the barges are handled quicker and better. Finally, this system would help enhance the deepsea terminal operations by ensuring guaranteed high cargo volumes at fixed and regular time slots.