POrt Simulation Environment for Interactive Design of
Operation and Networks
of port terminals, harbour dynamics, the technology of
navigation and the enormous costs involved require increasingly efficient
and flexible methodologies and tools to support the planning and to
evaluate the present status and ensure optimal investment strategies.
Modelling and simulation are the most important tools for studying and
solving these problems since analytical techniques normally cannot handle
the complexity of these real systems.
Harbours are complex industrial systems involving many entities
and different services. Within this framework, maritime aspects are
governed by public authorities, such as port authorities, harbour space
allocation and layout redesign managers and various companies operating in
the port. This system is very complex due above all to multiple ship
operations that are carried out at the same time as other related
procedures and sub-activities, in addition to constraints, etc.
Therefore, harbours are dynamic structures undergoing constant growth in order to meet
ongoing market requirements and to improve efficiency and safety.
These aspect require the application of re-engineering techniques to ensure proper
re-organisation and to support the design of new components, such as:
New Operating Procedures
Requirements for New Systems (i.e. requirements for new tugs)
During the development of the thesis it was possible to acquire
information and experience related to some principal Italian harbours
(Genoa, Ancona, Ravenna,) as well as foreign ports (Riga), comparing the
similarities and the differences.
In fact, the Genoa and Riga harbours, both large centres
(i.e. strategically involved in the container field), must deal with
- Genoa needs to be re-organised to enhance its competitiveness considering
changes in multi-modal operations and the development of a new terminal
based on a "hub" structure (i.e. passenger, container or oil terminal).
- Riga is a growing reality in the North European maritime sector, in which
it is important to introduce new technologies to improve communications
(i.e. wireless communications) and the management of loading/unloadingprocedures (such as Van Carriers or transtainers), thus guaranteeing a high level of efficiency and safety.
To ensure that these requirements are properly identified and to support
design and re-engineering, it would be very useful to identify the
techniques and the methodologies that could successfully deal with such
tasks, while guaranteeing flexibility and possible adaptation to different
For this reason, the first step of the thesis is the development
of data acquisition through direct experience in the field and
with research related to previous studies about the techniques linked
to these problems that may also be useful to solve them.
During the field analysis, it became necessary to develop models that
could be "implemented" by users and that were capable of supporting them to
ensure continuous improvement in service quality and operating efficiency.
To achieve these objectives, particular attention must be focused on
the need to operate in a distributed environment (inside the harbour and
with regards to the diverse subjects that operate there and geographically
to co-ordinate the various companies).
Obviously, ease of use and
interactive capabilities are important features to guarantee its diffusion
in the final users environment.
To this regard, it became clear that it would be quite interesting to be
able to use web-based modelling elements to make distribution more
immediate and interactive and to guarantee maximum growth potential.
techniques can be used to take full advantage of what is now the
omnipresent Internet/Intranet network for communications, without having to
develop special communication standards and/or interfaces.
This solution obviously involves reduced implementation efficiency
(running speed, safety constraints, transmission speed), but the design
improvements and the immediate distribution in a different user environment
truly make this a convenient approach.
The goal of this study was to verify how some techniques and
methodologies already developed in this area (especially in the training
sector, initially military operative and then industrial) could be
applied to support harbour management activities.
After completing the initial data acquisition phase, tools were
to summarise all the acquired information. Such tools then became a direct
and initial means of supporting harbour management: harbour flow analysis
techniques, implemented in a Windows environment, were developed within
They immediately provide a comparative analysis about
harbour activities, highlighting the service quality and thus supporting
the statistical analysis and the control requested by the ISO 9000
standards that all harbour operators have recently become aware of.
Once all the field data was summarised, a technological demonstrator was
developed to deal with a real problem, oil terminal modelling to support
the re-organisation of ancillary harbour services, with particular
reference to mooring, tug and pilot services.
This model operates in a web
environment, so every potential user connected to the web server through an
Internet/Intranet (TCP/IP) link and using a simple browser (explorer rather
than netscape, al least with versions less than two years old), can run the
mode, interacting to create scenarios and evaluate the results.
The analysis performed focused on an estimate of the efficiency of
developed, as well as the operative times, kinds of procedures, and
practical use of the tool applied to the Multedo (Genoa) harbour situation
to verify the results obtained through a real application.
For this project similar kinds of model with similar techniques
were developed by maritime research groups in Italy (Fincantieri
Group) and abroad (Riga Technical University).
This made it possible to verify the correct use
of the models and the results obtained and to compare the various
Model implementation was developed using the Java programming language and
a graphic interface was built for the graphic validation and verification
of the model, utilising its potentials. However, implementation always
focused on ensuring that final users could interact directly with
the system by means of normal browsers rather than using specific tools or
dedicated commercial packages.
To this regard, the part involving the safety management in the maritime
environment is particularly interesting.
In fact, the structure developed guarantees an optimal safety level that
can be managed by the user.
However, the requirements needed to achieve
this goal often make it difficult to construct the model, thus becoming of
the main obstacles during development.