This case study examines the Australian subsidiary of an international container terminal operating company. It is an agent for shipping lines and it handles container cargoes and operates container storage, for both outgoing exports and incoming imports for delivery to customers.
The reader is introduced to the common problem of a bottleneck problem caused by several trucks arriving at the terminal within the same time period which results in delays and prolonged queueing. The author, Brian Lawrence, provides a fascinating comparison of three alternative scenarios which have been proposed for port management companies trying to resolve the bottleneck problem. The author also suggests the most suitable one to use and offers essential guidance of best practice which will help both students and practitioners who are working or studying in this field.
Aimed at students on logistics and operations management courses, the case demonstrates how service speed is a fundamental factor for operations in container terminals. It explains entry gate imports and entry gate exports and gives step by step guidance to a vital simulation technique used to construct a queuing model. Computer simulation enables the analysis of data regarding date processes and can generate solutions without having to physically experiment with real trucks at the gate.
The reader is presented with essential questions about useful alternatives for improvement. The author also provides indispensable and innovative solutions to the questions which will help students and also practitioners who are trying to improve their business practices.
Brian Lawrence is a Lecturer in the School of Management at the Assumption University in Bangkok Thailand.