Increased demand for raw materials prompted the need to access mines which are located in rugged in land regions accessible only by shallow river networks. It is not feasible to land transport large quantities of cargo from these inland mines to distant sea ports and it is not possible for bulk carriers to approach the inland ports. Barge transshipment systems provide a very cost effective solution to this problem; cargo is land transported to a nearby shallow river/sea port and barges are deployed to carry the cargo from the shallow water port to large ports or offshore floating transshipment facilities.
A barge transshipment system is the most important and sophisticated component of its supply chain network. It is usually the bottle neck and it must be carefully analyzed, designed and implemented. This requires sophisticated trade-offs analysis, extensive simulations with all possible scenarios (different weather conditions, barge sizes, port logistics equipments, etc.).
Thanks to increased competition, industrial logistics providers need to design innovative and sophisticated barge transshipment systems. They need to ensure maximum throughput while keeping fixed and operational costs minimum. They are also forced to shoulder stiff penalties if minimum performance levels are not provided.
Most industrial logistics companies does barge cycle analysis work manually or uses in house/third party simulation tools. With manual analysis, to cope with complexities, planners need to oversimplify the analysis model. On the other hand, classical simulation tools are too rigid, and they are not “intelligent” enough. It takes a lot of time to implement the model in such tools and these models usually accept input and calculate the results, they do not “cleverly” offer solutions or continuously optimizes the system performance with changing scenarios.
The planning effort does not end at the analysis. Once the company is rewarded with contract to build the proposed system, this system needs a detailed design and implementation. Its operations need to be planned and scheduled carefully to ensure optimum barge cycle. Unfortunately, this day to day scheduling is also done manually (or not done at all) which results in higher operational costs and inferior throughput compared to system optimum potential.
ICRON Technologies develops tools and mathematical models that support the optimization of the supply chain network in every level: from supply chain network analysis and design to advanced planning and scheduling of daily operations.
ICRON Technologies can help industrial logistic companies in analysis phase of barge transshipment system to:
- Ensure that customer requirements are achievable with proposed system
- Ensure maximum throughput while keeping costs minimum
- Avoid unnecessary equipment investment
- Avoid underinvestment and future penalty payments
- Identify and solve the bottlenecks
- Execute what-if analysis to compare different transportation methods
- Create deterministic and/or monte carlo simulations for forecasted demand, weather conditions, equipment failures, etc.
- Perform investment analysis on planned changes
- Significantly shorten analysis and design phase of the projects
ICRON can also help industrial logistic companies to in planning and scheduling of an existing barge transshipment system to:
- Planning, scheduling of day to day operations
- Creating barge cycle schedules that maximizes the daily throughput
- Creating barge cycle schedules that minimizes the costs (i.e. fuel costs, manpower costs, lease costs)
- Forecast mid and long term resource requirements due to forecasted demand changes and weather conditions