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A container transport network analysis study on the offshore port system case of west north America coast

Kurt, Ismail and Aymelek, Murat and Boulougouris, Evangelos and Turan, Osman (2015) A container transport network analysis study on the offshore port system case of west north America coast. In: Proceedings of International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) 2015 Conference. International Association of Maritime Economists.

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Abstract

Developments of the new ocean engineering technologies enhance the feasibility of the offshore port system construction projects. The offshore port systems have an increasing interest depending on ever-growing container trade and vessel size. In the literature, there are some existing proposals which aim to analyse the offshore port system in terms of technical and economic evaluation aspects. Although, applied examples of the offshore systems for liquid and dry bulk cargo shipping are in practice, there is no large scale implementation for container shipping industry. An ongoing study at University of Strathclyde examining location analysis of the offshore container port system is an inspiration of this research. According to this research point of view, offshore of West Coast of the North America may be considered as a potential location to construct a fixed or floating offshore container port system. In direction of this perspective, the target of this research work is to optimise door-to-door delivery of the container cargoes between several route alternatives. In this respect, container transport network for case of West North America Coast is analysed with the aid of the linear optimisation tools. The concept of offshore container port system is settled at the centre of the transportation network alternatives integrated to intermodal connections. By utilisation of an offshore port system, it would be possible to give a better logistical response to ship size enlargement trend of the liner container shipping industry. The adaptation of the short sea shipping and the intermodal connection alternatives to the offshore container port system concept have significant influence to optimise freight transport from shipper to consignee on the determined route alternatives. The objective function of the optimisation model aims to minimise time and cost of door-to-door transport for this specific case. Operational challenges helps to determine the constraints of the linear optimisation model. The assumed constraints for the mentioned optimisation problem are ship and port drafts, docking capacity of ports, intermodal integration limits, and maximum handling capacity of port equipment. The fundamental decision variables may be considered as speed, service frequency, port handling capacity, number of handling equipment, vehicle cargo capacities, and port prices affecting to reach time and cost based minimisation. The data collection is going to established based on real container traffic statistics and future forecasts. The present study targets to determine the impact of the proposed offshore container port on West Coast of North America. Therefore, it is going to be possible to provide a more energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and time and cost efficient freight transport through West Coast of North America.