Discrete-Event Simulation: Assessing Environmental Issues of Intermodal Terminals

J.T. Sawyer, J.B. Fuqua, and B.C. Kulick (USA)


Discrete-Event Simulation, Intermodal, Marine Terminals Port Planning, Transportation


Marine and intermodal terminals today face a significant challenge in managing a rapidly increasing volume of container freight while maintaining a consistent level of service to their customers. In evaluating their alternatives, terminals must wrestle with competing goals: maximizing the operational effectiveness of the infrastructure design and operating plan, while minimizing adverse impacts on the environment due to land or waterway usage, construction, and vessel or vehicle emissions. Discrete event simulation can be a valuable technology to help understand and quantify the tradeoffs involved in proposed strategic and operational improvements. This paper highlights the value of simulation for examining specific environmental issues surrounding terminal infrastructure changes such as vehicle emissions and wetland encroachment. Examples are presented in which simulation results helped guide major planning decisions by demonstrating a significant reduction in environmental impacts.

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