Improving Efficiency of Drayage Operations at Seaport Container Terminals Through the Use of an Appointment System
Designs of seaport container terminals involve three major infrastructure components: berth, container yard, and gate. In addition, Information Technology (e.g. terminal operations system, gate automation, and wireless handhelds) is becoming an integral component of container terminals. Beyond these traditional components, an emerging and potentially effective strategy, terminal planners need to consider to improve gate throughput, is the appointment system. Not only the use of an appointment system by a terminal can facilitate the movement of trucks in and out of the terminal, it can also help the terminal to manage its labor and yard resources. There are challenges to designing an effective appointment system. In this paper, two aspects of the appointment system are examined to provide insight to terminal planners. One parameter of an appointment system is the cap (i.e. limit) on the number of trucks that can enter a zone in the yard per time window. Limiting truck arrivals can be beneficial to some extent; however, if the caps are not set properly, it could be detrimental to both the terminal and truckers. The effect of limiting truck arrivals on crane utilization will be explored in this paper. A second aspect of the appointment system that will be examined in this paper is the scheduling rules (individual appointment system versus block appointment system) and their effects on resource utilization and truck turn time in grounded operations.
KeywordsAppointment System Container Terminal Schedule Rule Terminal Operator Control Scenario
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