Simulation and Evaluation of Intelligent Check in Facilities for Ferry Port Terminals


Ferry port terminals are an important element of a country’s transport infrastructure. Not only are they vital in providing marine connections, but they are also a critical economic asset which help create connectivity for both passengers and merchandise. Often ferry ports are the gateway to a region, welcoming tourists and freight hauliers onto the country’s transport network. Like many transport infrastructure elements, congestion occurs, due to peaked demand, conflicts in operational requirements, variability in arrivals and unexpected events. Major bottlenecks at any port are the check in facilities to the ferries.A 3 dimensional simulation model of port operations and check in facilities for the present and the future operations has been created. The model can be used to evaluate the present and future processing times of vehicles through various components of ferry port operation. In addition to the testing of average of peaked demand conditions, the simulation model has been used to test the early or late running of ferries on port operations, the impact of incidents, technology failure and high security alerts. The adaptive model can use used to optimise ferry timetables, port layout and predict the most effective check in times for freight vehicles. The model has been used to investigate introducing intelligent check-in facilities in the port of Dover, United Kingdom. The port of Dover handles more than 1.8 million passengers and 400,000 cars during the peak tourist month of August. In addition, it caters to more than 1.5 million freight vehicles and has over 14,000 scheduled ferry departures annually. The paper will report on the model’s capability to represent current operations of the port and ferry handling facilities, and will present outcomes of a modelled move towards intelligent check-in facilities.

European Transport Conference