DynaStow

  • Pacino, Dario (Project Manager)
  • Larsen, Rune, (Project Participant)
  • Roberti, Roberto, (Project Participant)

    Description

    The use of larger vessels is increasing the planning complexity of stowage coordinators. Stowage planning main goal is to find an arrangement of the containers such that time at port is minimised. In order to do so, stowage coordinators must ensure that situations where containers going to later ports are stowed on top of containers to be discharged earlier. Such containers are called overstowing containers. A worse situation appears when overstowing containers are in between hatch-covers (metallic structures dividing the upper
    and lower deck). In this situation, a container terminal is forced to remove all containers above the hatch, lift the hatch itself, to then finally discharge the needed containers. Such a situation is clearly undesirable. Aside from the minimization of container moves, it is also important that the stowage plans are designed for efficient port operations. Liner shippers and container terminals, often, agree on an expected cargo handling performance (often in terms of container moves per hour). Stowage coordinators must, to the best of their ability, generate stowage plans tailored to the agreed terminal performance. This is not an easy task since cargo loaded in earlier ports can have a large negative impact on handling operations in later ports. Even though those objectives in themselves are complex to achieve, stowage coordinators also need to ensure the sea-worthiness of the vessel. Weight balance, stress forces, handling of dangerous cargo and stacking constraints are but a few examples of the rules that a stowage plan must obey. The possibility of cost reduction, by use of optimisation techniques, are not small. Consider the number of containers Maersk has moved in this year’s first quarter (ca. 2.500 thousand FFU), and assume a total of just 5% of overstowing containers. A conservative price of 60,00 USD per re-stow will result in an estimated cost of 60 mils. USD. It is easy to see that even a small percent reduction of the overstowing containers would bring savings in the order of millions.
    This project has two main goals:
    1. Reinforce the Danish status of being the top research country for stowage planning 2. Produce research results that can have an impact on the Danish maritime industry
    Wrt. to 1) we wish to become the main authority in terms of stowage planning research in the world. Our research results so far have granted us the respect of many maritime researchers. As the main researchers on stowage planning we have the responsibility of setting the correct research standard. The amount of knowledge on stowage planning of the applicants and of the Danish maritime industry places Denmark in a unique position to do so. Wrt. 2) we believe that applied research must have an impact. We, therefore, have engaged in a partnership with Optivation, and through them, Seago Line (part of the Maersk consortium), to help us in guiding the project toward solutions tailored for the industry.
    AcronymDynaStow
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/11/201630/09/2017