Free Case Study About Ports
Type of paper: Case Study
Topic: Vehicles, Transportation, Infrastructure, System, Container, Technology, Development, Expansion
Chapter 7: Challenges associated with future growth trends of intermodal transportation at ports
As a result of the ongoing expansion of the world population and global economic development, the demand for the cargo transport is escalating. Subsequent to the increasing demands from the economies of scale and the consumers, container shipping and related container operations have emerged as the most convenient and reliable mode of cargo transportation. However, key aspects such as expansion of infrastructure and the increased throughput and volume of superstructure are the key aspects that challenging this intermodal transportation. This is associated with the anticipated increase in demand resulting from the future vessel features and related operations.
As the demand for the intermodal transportation is increasing, consignees and shippers are progressively demanding better quality and performance. They are demanding for the flexibility in the port and rapid response accompanied with fast deliveries to match with the needs of their logistic chains. However, this is discouraged by the infrastructural capability in various countries across the globe. For instance, according to Rijsenbrij, “the developments in the rail transportation capacity have been limited with the exception of the USA” ((Konings et al. 2008, p.113). In addition, only a little development in the relation to the cargo-carrying capacity has been associated with the road trucks. Although there is a scenario where three and four- Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) trucks on roads are accepted under given conditions, Only USA, Sweden have attained a three-TEU trucks.
The intermodal transportation is also challenged by the shortage of connecting infrastructure and the land for expansion programs. Therefore, failure to conduct strategic plans in advance will limit the possible development of the intermodal transportation. For instance, with the “introduction of the Post-Panamax container vessels” it has emerged that many terminals and ports “were insufficiently prepared to accommodate these large vessels and their related operations” ((Konings et al. 2008, p.117). Therefore, such ports are anticipated to incur huge costs to foster modifications that will allow them to accommodate large operations. On the other hand, the efforts to build deep channels, such as 20-23 meter deep, may result in sediment depositing and hence additional costs for dredging.
Other challenges that are faced in the intermodal transportation system in the port are associated with the increased throughput and volume of superstructure. As a result, the port is required to develop access channels, strengthen quay wall, increase water depth, and enlarge handling and container cranes system. However, the challenge is to determine whether there will be sufficient revenue and volume for an appropriate payback period. In addition, improvements in gate systems, three TEU or four TEU trucks, arriving shuttle trains, and on-dock rail facilities are required. Again, such developments are not anticipated to generate substantial returns on their investment.
Chapter 8: how will older ports with limited real-estate available for expansion be able to compete with newer larger ports?
Following the enlargement of the vessels the container ports demand more space for storage and to accommodate such large vessels. However, the expansion efforts are constrained by the availability of the sufficient real-estate. Consequently, such ports are required to adopt other strategies for expansion to enable them compete with the larger ports. Such strategies focus on equipment, alliances and partnerships, technologies, and business practices among others.
The small ports can develop a strategy to outplace storage facilities from ocean harbors, a mechanism known as the Agile Port System. This allows the port “to split container a port into an Efficient Marine Terminal (EMT) ashore and an Intermodal Interface Center (IIC) inland, connected by a dedicated railway line” ((Konings et al. 2008, p.136). Consequently, this system can benefit the small ports by accommodating many containers without storing them in the EMT and allow container transportation between IIC and EMT by train. It also increases service frequency by sorting containers between trains with respect to the IIC and final destination.
The other strategy involves developing of the efficient marine terminal (EMT) by adding efficiency to reduce land requirements. This mechanism is just like the conventional marine terminal that have rail interface instead of a conventional yard. After the vessels are unloaded at the EMT, the yard vehicles transport the containers and load directly into the trains waiting in the yard. The significant of the EMT is to allow loading and unloading large vessels in a limited land space with little impact on the environment and public traffic system.
In addition, small ports with limited real estate can embrace the innovative hub technology by bundling of rail-bound container flows inland. This involves applying the Intermodal Interface Center (IIC), which performs either as train/truck transfer or rail transshipment. Another technology that can be applied is the MegaHub production system to increase the efficiency in the transportation of the containers. Using the classic transfer technology, the MegaHub systems allow both low-performance level transfer and the high-performance level transfer. The MegaHub systems, such as Lehrte-Munich Nord requires 130 ha to handle 3600 wagons daily, compared to just 10 ha required for MegaHub. Other technologies that can be applied include the Linear Motor-Based Transfer Technology (LMTT). This technology integrates automated transport system that has trucks “running parallel and right angles to one another” (Konings et al. 2008, p.145). The chassis of this system does require brakes, engines, sensors, gears, or Programmable Logic Control and hence cost effective and better performance. Therefore, the equipment and technology applied will help not only in solving the problem of insufficient land, but also reduce costs.
Konings, J. W., Priemus, H., & Nijkamp, P. (2008). Container handling in mainports: a dilemma about future scales. In The future of intermodal freight transport: Operations, design and policy (pp. 109-134). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Konings, J. W., Priemus, H., & Nijkamp, P. (2008). A technical approach to the Agile Port System. In The future of intermodal freight transport: Operations, design and policy (pp. 135-150). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.