Chapter 3: Process Modelling: A Method to Increase the Performance of Container Terminals
Thomas Pawlik and Phanthian Zuesongdham* 1 Container terminals: the crucial link in international supply chains Since ancient times, ports have been important nodes within the network of seaborne trade, connecting regional trade centres with the rest of the world. In the early days of containerisation, containers were loaded and unloaded at conventional piers, but with increasing container traffic, this soon turned out to be inefficient. Special container terminals were built and in many cases constantly expanded in order to keep pace with the ever-increasing container volumes. For example, when the first container arrived in Germany in May 1966, it was discharged in the port of Bremen, located in the direct neighbourhood of the city centre of Bremen. Only five years later, most container handling was shifted 66 km north to the new container terminal at Bremerhaven, located almost directly on the shores of the North Sea. The riverside quay of this container terminal, originally measuring 700 metres in length, was extended in several steps from the 1970s onwards up to about 5 km in 2008, when the last development stage was finalised and Container Terminal 4 went into operation (Bremen Ports, 2009a). The total container handling capacity of Bremerhaven’s container terminals adds up now to 7.0 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) p.a. In 2008, Bremerhaven’s container throughput amounted to approx. 5.6 million TEUs, increasing by 14.3 per cent compared to the previous year (Bremen Ports, 2009b). In the light of the recessionary trend of the global economy emerging in 2008,...
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