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Masterplanning at the Port of Dover: The Use of Discrete-Event Simulation in Managing Road Traffic

Preston, Geoffrey C., Horne, Phillip, Scaparra, Maria Paola, O’Hanley, Jesse R. (2020) Masterplanning at the Port of Dover: The Use of Discrete-Event Simulation in Managing Road Traffic. Sustainability, 12 (3). Article Number 1067. ISSN 2071-1050. (doi:10.3390/su12031067) (KAR id:79923)

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The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest ferry port, handling £119 billion or 17% of the UK’s annual trade in goods. The Port is constrained geographically to a small area and faces multiple challenges, both short- and long-term, with managing the flow of five million vehicles per year to/from mainland Europe. This article describes some of the work that the Port is doing to minimize the impact of port road traffic on the local community and environment using discrete-event simulation modeling. Modeling is particularly valuable in identifying where future bottlenecks are likely to form within the Port due to projected growth in freight traffic and comparing the effectiveness of different interventions to cope with growth. One of our key findings is that space which can be used flexibly is far more valuable than dedicated space. This is supported by the much greater reduction in traffic congestion that is expected to be achieved given a 10% increase in freight traffic by reallocating space at the front of the system to temporarily hold vehicles waiting to pass through border control and check-in compared to extending the amount of space for ferry embarkation at the rear of the system. The importance of flexible space has implications for port design that can be applied more broadly. Modeling is also useful in identifying critical thresholds for vehicle processing times that would cause the system to become overwhelmed. Increasing the check-in time by just three to five minutes, for example, would completely exceed the Port’s capacity and produce indefinite queueing. This finding has important implications for Brexit planning. From a wider context, the research presented here nicely illustrates how simulation can be used to instill more evidence-based thinking into port masterplanning and support “green port” and other corporate sustainability initiatives.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/su12031067
Uncontrolled keywords: port master planning, corporate sustainability, traffic flow modeling, discrete-event simulation, Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Organisation, (CLHO)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation (do not use)
Depositing User: Jesse O'Hanley
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 09:33 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Scaparra, Maria Paola:
O’Hanley, Jesse R.:
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