Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shipping Container Congestion Reduced In Trials

New Tool Targets Pollution by Optimising Traffic Throughput
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – EUROPE – The EU funded consortium FLAGSHIP, which consists of forty industry organisations and aims to produce financial and environmental savings and make European maritime transport services more efficient, say it has successfully implemented the first real-time optimisation system targeting congestion in container terminals.

The system, known as FLAGSHIP-RTS was trialled at the Port of Valencia and plans transport resources, container repositioning movements and inventory levels simultaneously, using a real time scheduling model. This allows the terminal operation to be re-optimised dynamically throughout the day enabling both air pollution and congestion to be significantly reduced, as well as generating substantial savings for logistics operators and customers.

FLAGSHIP-RTS has been designed and developed as a management tool for terminal operators, freight forwarders, ship operators and container logistics providers and delivers commercial, environmental and social benefits. Trialled with China Shipping (Spain) and the Port of Valencia the reduction in wasted container handling operations in the terminal not only greatly improved efficiency but led to less congestion and increased safety in the terminal.

Trucks and containers did less empty mileage leading to lower CO2 emissions and improving the effective capacity of haulage fleets; reducing both their operating costs and their impact on the environment. FLAGSHIP–RTS also had a positive impact on the area surrounding the terminal reducing noise pollution, easing congestion and speeding up road traffic in the terminal vicinity. The smoother flow of traffic in and out of the terminal allows cranes and handling equipment to be used more efficiently and safely.

Led by MJC² Limited in the UK, FLAGSHIP–RTS was supported, delivered and trialled in conjunction with five Spanish organisations including the Port Authority of Valencia (Spain); China Shipping (Spain) Agency; Ingenieria de Sistemas para la Defensa de España S.A; Spanish Depot Service  S.A and Trans-Base Soler S.L.

Julian Stephens, Technical Development Manager at MJC² said:

“The system has shown that it is capable of reducing wasted repositioning movements by up to 25% while saving 10-20% of transport costs through improved planning and faster response times. Furthermore, the project has enhanced business efficiency as well as the quality of life for those living and working in the area.”

Photo: L'Hemisfèric , Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, (City of Arts and Sciences)Valencia