Student Research

The Impact of Vessel Bunching: Managing Roll-on-Roll-off Terminal Operations

The operations at port terminals are under consent examination, consistently investigating the various operational challenges effecting efficiency and performance. In a study to identify the consequences of vessel bunching, vessels that arrive within a short amount of time between each vessel, this paper presents an approach to forecast Ro-Ro terminal capacity while referencing the various input factors: vessel arrival schedule, inbound cargo volume, and rail or truck out-gate volume. Using a quantitative analysis derived using actual historical data from a Ro-Ro terminal at the Port of Long Beach, California, the proposed approach applied an additional probability factor that vessel bunching would occur. The analysis highlights the effectiveness of using actual historical data when examining a Ro-Ro terminal’s capacity and how the resulting information could be communicated inclusively with all stakeholders involved in port operations as means of performance improvement.

A capstone project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Transportation and Engineering Management.