Container terminals are important intermodal interfaces between marine and land transport networks. These interfaces have historically been sources of congestion and logistical inefficiencies. Exacerbated by growing trade volumes, the terminals have become bottlenecks in the port-related supply chain. This research explores using truck arrival information to integrate drayage truck and container terminal operations and improve intermodal system efficiency. The first part of the dissertation investigates whether and to what extent pre-arrival information regarding drayage trucks can be used to reduce operational inefficiencies and truck delays within the terminal. An advanced container rehandling strategy is proposed for using truck arrival information to reduce container rehandling work, and a computer simulation model is developed for evaluating the impact of truck arrival information on container handling efficiency by adopting the proposed strategy during the import container retrieval operation. In addition, a queuing model is employed to assess the impact of truck information on truck transaction time within a terminal. The research results demonstrate that any amount of information about arrival trucks is effective for improving yard crane productivity and reducing truck transaction time.
The second part of the dissertation investigates the travel time reliability of the port drayage network and evaluates the predictability of drayage truck travel time. A simple but effective method is developed for predicting the 95% confidence interval of travel time between any OD pair and is validated with GPS data. The research results indicate that the proposed travel time prediction method is quite accurate in estimating the arrival time window of trucks at the terminals. It is therefore sufficient to support the implementation of the proposed container rehandling strategy. Overall, this research provides terminal operators with insights as to the impact of truck arrival information on system efficiency of drayage truck/terminal operations, travel time prediction method to improve information quality, and operational strategies to effectively utilize such information. The research results can identify terminals likely to experience significant benefits if utilizing truck information, and inform the design of a data sharing system and tools for acquiring better information.
Zhao, Wenjuan (2011). Integrating Drayage Truck and Marine Terminal Operations to Improve Intermodal System Efficiency, University of Washington Doctoral Dissertation.