Marine highway freight system modeling effort update
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Marine Highway Freight System Modeling Effort Update. CSC Advanced Marine 15 June 2010. Objective. Provide Model for evaluating potential Marine Highway Routes Key Features Reusable “Toolset” for others w/o programming experience Relative comparison with Trucking Routes

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Marine Highway Freight System Modeling Effort Update

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Marine Highway Freight SystemModeling Effort Update

CSC Advanced Marine

15 June 2010


  • Provide Model for evaluating potential Marine Highway Routes

  • Key Features

    • Reusable “Toolset” for others w/o programming experience

    • Relative comparison with Trucking Routes

    • Able to model ship operator’s process or track cargo unit to final destination

    • Primary metrics: time, throughput, & cost

    • Secondary metrics: fuel consumption, pollutant output


  • Model Framework

  • Inputs & Outputs

  • Model Architecture

  • Basic Example

Model Framework

  • Model will be created in ExtendSim 7 Discrete Event Modeling software

    • Uses Hierarchical Blocks - designed for “toolset” implementation

    • Readily imports data from Excel – simplifies data input for user

  • Models feasibility of marine highway route over extended time period

  • Basic Framework is three block types:

    • Creation block

    • Travel block

    • Port (cargo transfer) block

  • Data Inputs

    • Specific to block type

    • User defined data

    • Supports Monte Carlo simulation – captures real world variability

Input & Output Capabilities

  • Input:

    • Cargo time distribution at departure port

    • Ship departure schedule

    • Port specific ship loading/unloading times

    • Ship capacity and performance characteristics

    • Ship route specifics

    • Truck and route characteristics

  • Output:

    • Cargo time distribution at destination

    • Ship fuel consumption

    • Delays at each stage

    • Emissions Tracking

    • Cost Tracking

Block Development

  • Depending on complexity of process and available data, modeling fidelity can be varied by selecting interchangeable blocks

Creation Block

  • Creates cargo/truck items

    • Specifies distribution of when blocks arrive at port or distribution center

    • Specifies truck performance characteristics

  • Creates ship items

    • Specifies ship performance characteristics

Travel Block

  • Calculates the time delay of traveling ship or truck

  • Basic block will calculate time delay based on speed ÷ distance

  • Intermediate block will use speed limits

  • Advanced block will be route specific and will use GMU or Rutgers defined time delays based on time of day

Port Block

  • Simulates marrying of ships with cargo

  • Basic block accommodates varying number of ship loading and cargo staging areas

  • Intermediate block will increase cargo loading fidelity

  • Advanced block will model the exact process and time delays of a specific port

  • Will accommodate logic for both RoRo and LoLo

  • Will function as an intermediate port

DES Example Layout

  • Models route from General Foam Plastics in Portsmouth, VA to a Costco distribution center in Jamesburg, NJ.

Departure Port

Ship Travel

Arrival Port


  • Framework Development On Track

  • Implementation of Metrics going well

    • Desire feedback on selection of primary & secondary metrics

  • Data collection contingent on guidance from advisory board and participation of industry partners

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