TBA Group | Simulation, Training and TOS for ports, terminals & warehouses

TBA Group

Container Terminal Simulation & Emmulation allows Ports to Optimise Operations

TBA Group (www.tba.group) is a leading international provider of port planning and port operations optimization consultancy. Its product and service portfolio concentrates on marine containers terminals and intermodal terminals. TBA’s current clients include most major Global terminal operators, as well as many local port operators. TBA is headquartered in Delft, The Netherlands with a USA office in Tampa, Florida (United States).

TBA’s mission is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of client facilities and operations through analysis assistance and decision support. TBA provides innovative methods to analyze, visualize, design, and optimize client’s facilities, processes and operations. We create long-term value for clients and their shareholders with state-of-the-art solutions.

TBA has worked on over 500 projects, including the design and improvement of over 100 terminals in over 40 countries spanning six continents, ranging from 50,000 TEU to 9 million TEU in annual throughput. Our studies have included all equipment available on the market, RTGs, Straddle Carriers, RMGs or Automated RMGs (ASCs), AGVs, Automated Lifting Vehicles, Shuttle Carriers, Terminal Trucks, Forklifts, Empty Handlers, and many more. TBA performs studies for detailed conceptual planning for truck gates, terminal layouts, handling systems, quay crane concepts, operating strategies, TOS evaluations, and others. TBA partners with other firms as needed.

Project experience includes key port development projects in Europe (Antwerp, London and Rotterdam), the Middle East (Jebel Ali terminals and Khalifa terminal), North America (innovative developments in the ports of Los Angeles / Long Beach, New York/New Jersey and Virginia) and port development in Oceania (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne).

We work for 8 out of the 10 major global terminal operators such as Hutchison (ECT Rotterdam, Thamesport, Port of Felixstowe, Euromax Rotterdam), APM Terminals (Mumbai, Bremerhaven, Pelepas, Algeciras, Virginia, Rotterdam, Aarhus), DP World (Sydney, Jebel Ali, Brisbane, Antwerp, London, Southampton, New York, Melbourne) and HHLA (CTA, CTB and CTT Hamburg).

TBA has been involved in the majority of the most innovative terminal design projects globally over the last 10 years. Aside from working on terminal-specific projects, we are the go-to expert for the evaluation of innovative new handling concepts for a number of major operators as well as equipment manufacturers.

TBA’s simulations have proven to be accurate within a bandwidth of +/- 5%, compared to real operations in practice. Especially in comparison to spreadsheet calculations, we distinguish ourselves as being more accurate, and therefore, leading to results that can be trusted.

More references are available upon request.

Virtual Reality TOS Training

Even the best TOS can not control a terminal without well trained operators. TBA Group uses CONTROLS as a Training Tool. This enables the user to interact with a “virtual terminal” by means of emulation; this allows the user to learn...

Container Terminal Design: Early Assistance in Design and Redesign Processes

Container Terminal development projects have strategic importance. Many decisions have to be made about layout design, control algorithms, and equipment numbers and characteristics. Simultaneously, time and cost budgets need to be considered...

Trafalquar: Strategic Terminal Development

Efficient Capital Expenditure As container volumes increase, port and container terminal operators realise that their key resources, such as quays, quay cranes, and storage space, are inadequate for new situations. Then terminal operators are...

Yard Crane Scheduler: Optimising Yard Crane Workflow

At RTG and RMG-operated terminals, the yard cranes are a key driver for productivity. Quay cranes and terminal trucks depend on a flow of containers being handled by the yard cranes. However, many terminals experience difficulty in managing their...

CONTROLS: Advanced Terminal Emulation for TOS testing

The Terminal Operating System (TOS) of a container terminal forms the heart of the terminal operation. It keeps track of all container positions in the stack and it handles large quantities of information. It decides, using a number of control...

TimeSquare: In-Depth Container Terminal Simulation

Detailed System Design Operators of new container terminals, or those wanting to expand current facilities, can select stack systems and prime movers from a wide variety of available solutions. Each of these options requires a design based on...

TEAMS - Control System for Automated Container Terminals

Automation of terminal operations holds many promises: cheaper and safer operations, less emissions, and better infrastructure utilization. Most importantly, automation should guarantee an exemplary performance and a stable operation. However,...

Business Process Improvement

Much of a terminal's expenditures depend on several variables that include equipment, associated labour deployment, and equipment efficiency. Over the years, TBA has performed many business process improvement studies at container terminals....

How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Affect Ports and Terminals - TBA

Dr. Yvo Saanen, Commercial Director and Founder of TBA — a consultancy, simulation and emulation specialist for ports, explores how the quality of data in the shipping industry will affect the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

TBA Group: 3 Ways to Optimise your Port

Dr Yvo Saanen, Founder and Director of simulation and emulation specialist at TBA, speaks to PTI about the 3 practices a port or terminal can employ in order to optimise operations, including better use of systems, information and training exercises.

TBA Group: Driving Terminal Operations into the Future

PTI interviews Dr Yvo Saanen, CEO of simulation and emulation specialist to discuss how TBA are driving the industry through automation, intelligent apps and simulated training programs.

TBA Group: TEAMS - High performance for automated container terminals

TEAMS (Terminal Equipment Automated Management System) is TBA’s fleet management system and supplies customers with advanced control over their automated equipment, such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Ship-to-Shore cranes (QCs) to achieve high performance in automated container terminals.

TBA Group : Exclusive PTI Interview at TOC Europe

Dr Yvo Saanen, Managing Director of TBA Group gives an exclusive interview with PTI at TOC Europe in London. TBA remains one of the most exciting and dynamic companies in the port and terminal world, pioneering in consultancy, automated practices and simulated training programs.

TBA Group: Why Ports and Terminals Need to Use Gamification and Simulation

Gamification and simulation was discussed between Port Technology International (PTI) and Dr Yvo A. Saanen, Commercial Director and Owner of TBA Netherlands, a leading international provider of consultancy and software, at PTI's Container Terminal Automation Conference in London.

TBA Group: Simulated Games are Important for Ports and Terminals

Simulated gaming was discussed between Port Technology International (PTI) and Dr Yvo A. Saanen, Commercial Director and Owner of TBA Netherlands. Saanen also touches on the innovation that TBA has in store and the new product launches that he's excited by the most.


Emulation of Terminal Control Software


Real-time control for advanced terminal operations


Design and evaluation of yard handling systems


Strategic terminal development


The right place at the right time. Every time.


Payback within a year


A proven appraoch in over 500 projects

TOS Implementation Support

For a successful go-live

High-Tech Simulators to Boost Argentina Terminal

  18 Feb 2019

Terminal Zárate, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has signed an agreement with training solution provider GlobalSim for two new crane simulators

Friday Focus: Yard Crane Scheduler Powered by TBA

  15 Feb 2019

Automation specialists show how ports can benefit

Insight: Will the Seaport Alliance Rejuvenate Hong Kong?

  06 Feb 2019

Four-way operator alliance lays out ‘Smart and Green’ plans

Insight: The Dawning of 5G

  04 Feb 2019

As the digitization of industry and the global economy continues, a necessity for reliable, faster and more secure networks to connect businesses and the global supply chain continues to grow.

New Paper: Automation is Smart Investment

  30 Jan 2019

Julian Galvis of Identec Solutions has pointed to automation technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) as the future of “smart investment” for ports and terminals

PTI Exclusive: TBA on 5G Networks

  28 Jan 2019

With so many solutions and options available to ports, Dr. Yvo Saanen explains the importance of mobile connectivity for driving digitization and innovation

Report: Port Equipment Market to Spike

  24 Jan 2019

A new research report from MarketsandMarkets has estimated the value of the port equipment sector in 2018 to be approximately $29.2 billion

PTI Release First Digital E-Journal

  22 Jan 2019

Edition 81 focuses on port terminal automation design and is the first ever PTI edition to feature video optimized papers

PTI Exclusive: TBA on Semi-Automated Ports

  18 Jan 2019

According to Dr. Yvo Saanen, Owner of TBA Group, ports and terminals pursuing automation can deploy a whole host of technologies to boost the efficiency of their operations

TBA and Konecranes Boost Cayman Islands Terminal

  14 Jan 2019

The TBA Group has revealed that its Autostore Terminal Operating System has been running successfully at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

10 Pre-Requisites for Smart Terminals

This TBA paper is the first to feature video optimization in PTI's history. In it Dr Yvo Saanen articulates 10 key actions for terminals

20 Years of High-Definition Simulation in the Port Industry

More than 20 years of operations, 1,000 projects across 250-plus terminals, over 500 man-years spent on simulation. Sound crazy? This the story so far for TBA.

Turning Data into Knowledge: Bridging the Gap in the Terminal Industry

Using data to drive operational improvements is a common industry practice, and the port logistics industry is no exception. However, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to improve operations is not always as straightforward as it might seem. The usage of data to improve your operations requires analytical skills and, in many cases, expert knowledge to fully comprehend the meaning of or draw conclusions about the...

Using Intelligent TOS Plug-Ins to Increase Terminal Performance

As volumes have found their way up again, and additional terminal capacity is not easily realized, terminals return to seeking improvements in their internal processes. Based on our experience, which covers over 50 terminals where we assisted in performance improvement programs, it is possible to make substantial performance gains for internal processes. This is also recognized by the terminals themselves. A recent survey by Navis...

Automatic Twistlock Systems

The current practice at container terminals is to manually remove twistlocks from containers – a time consuming activity. This process can be automated, which saves time, reduces risk at the terminal and contributes to a more efficient operation.

Next Generation Training Tools

Whether it is a terminal truck driver, a hatch clerk, a vessel planner, or a shift manager; all contribute to a smooth and productive operation, and are continuously interacting with the various IT systems present in the terminal

Update: Dry Bulk Terminal Capacity Planning

In 2012, the international seaborne trade for dry bulk cargo continued to grow: an overall growth of 5.7 percent, within which was a 7.2 percent increase rate for major bulks. Unlike other types of terminals (e.g. container terminals, general cargo terminals), for dry bulk terminals it is important to distinguish if they are export or import terminals. Because of the differences in objectives (i.e. export...

Update: Maritime Sector Logistics 4.0

The steam engine. Electricity. Automation. The Internet of Things: these 4 terms describe the evolution of industrial progress in roughly the last 2 eras. The Internet of Things – also addressed as the fourth wave in industrial development, or as the ‘digitisation’ of industry – offers various opportunities to the port sector.

Bringing Training To The Terminal Industry

TBA's vision is to improve the cost efficiency and productivity of container and bulk terminals world-wide through consultancy and software, in this paper the Managing Director, Yvo Saanen, discusses the training of staff of maritime terminals, ranging from truck drivers, dispatchers, and planners, to shift managers and terminal management. A large portfolio of different types of training has been developed, to suit the needs of...

AGV Versus Lift AGV Versus ALV

It is a recurring question in the planning of automated terminals: what is the ‘best’ mode of horizontal transportation? For many, horizontal transportation is seen as one of the most complex components of terminal robotisation, and this is right in my view. The question we aim to answer in this article is: What is the most costeffective automated transportation system, with the today available technology?

The Journey of CONTROLS: DP World Antwerp

TBA is proudly celebrating ‘10 years CONTROLS’. In a series of articles, The Journey of CONTROLS will take you around the world, bringing you to various terminals who are using emulation and sharing their stories. In this second episode, we will write about the usage of CONTROLS at DP World (DPW) Antwerp

Entering the Maritime Sector: Logistics 4.0

The steam engine. Electricity. Automation. The Internet of Things: these 4 terms describe the evolution of industrial progress in roughly the last 2 eras. The Internet of Things – also addressed as the fourth wave in industrial development, or as the ‘digitisation’ of industry – offers various opportunities to the port sector

TBA: The Journey of Controls

Paper covers the development of pioneering TBA design

New Paper: Innovation and process optimisation drive success

The Ports of Auckland operates New Zealand’s largest container port. The terminals are situated in the heart of Auckland and hence have the largest consumer market in the country on their doorstep. TBA and Auckland work together...

TOS Systems to Drive Bulk Boom

An insight into how TOS systems can optimise beyond the container trade

How to Boost Terminal Operations with TOS Plug-ins

How 'plug-ins' can optimise TOS operations and fill the gaps left where operators are left to make complex decisions in little time

The Future: Serious Gaming in Automated Terminals

Learning by doing with simulation games is the upcoming training method of this century. This paper explores how port operators can familiarise themselves with high-risk scenarios, by practicing serious games that recreate real-life complex situations.

Near-to-live training for terminal planners: bridging the operational gap

A technical paper focusing on TBA's virtual terminal emulation solution for improving the training given to container terminal staff. Serious 'real game' training has been proposed to allow container terminal operator staff to make accurate decisions in a safer environment. A mature virtual reality tool and a properly designed training process are key to designing a process that is both serious and didactic; two key...

Doing training Confucian style?

This article looks at addressing the efficiency gaps in operational control staff training by using gamification, i.e. virtual games training. Training in the form of games is a well-received and highly appreciated method as operational control staff can be tested in virtual environments before going into live operations. This enables them to be trained in areas that can often make working in a container terminal...

Overview of IAPH mid-term conference and board meeting

An overview of the IAPH mid-term conference and board meeting. The conference contains seven sessions, whereby industry professionals discuss some of the biggest challenges facing ports and terminals. The sessions can be broken down into the following segments: port automation; port planning and investment; port operations - women driving success; key note address - raising the costa concordia; big, bigger, biggest; port infrastructure and interfaces...

Optimisation for operational excellence

Process improvement is a rewarding activity and the companies that implement these measures can expect to see large pay-offs within a year. TBA's role in this process is to implement its own approach, using tried and tested methods in process improvement, including DMAIC or 6 models in order to see positive results.

Dry bulk terminal capacity planning

With the continuous growth in dry cargo shipping, more and more dry bulk export terminals have expansion plans. In this article, Dr Mi-Rong Wu, a consultant at Dutch-based company TBA, discusses the importance of including and quantifying the impact of stochastic effects to identify bottlenecks and maximise the potential of the terminal.

Analysing terminal facilities for biomass operations

Bulk terminals around the world have been dealing with solid biomass for some time on a small scale. However, with the expectation of the use of bioenergy growing and consequently the international solid biomass trade market. It is necessary to address comprehensive analyses of the terminal facilities for solid biomass operations.

Mega ships: positive asset or terminals’ worst nightmare?

So what are the consequences for terminals? The most obvious ones are clearly the design and capability of the quay (draught, strength) and the quay cranes (outreach, air draft). Less obvious are the effects for the yard, and the yard handling equipment. In this article, Yvo Saanen, managing director at TBA, discusses these issues and the other problems posed by the introduction of so-called 'mega...

An operations perspective on new twistlock handling in terminals

What would be the impact on the container terminal industry, if containers were equipped with integrated twistlocks? A cost efficiency analysis demonstrates the significant cost savings to the industry and highlights safety, productivity and sustainability benefits.

Optimising terminals to boost productivity

The next generation of robotized terminals will benefit from the latest solutions and technology. What are these solutions that will beef up the productivity of these terminals? In a simulation supported analysis, the small, but all feasible steps are compared on their impact to ship productivity. The analysis shows that with the right measures, a fully robotized terminal can live up to today’s requirements from...

Using emulation to improve the performance of your TOS

Container terminals are struggling with ever increasing throughput, and are therefore searching for solutions to increase throughput capacity without expanding their physical footprint. At the same time, they target to increase their productivity to be able to handle bigger ships with larger call sizes in the same time windows. Terminal operating systems (TOS) are playing a major role in today’s terminal operations, as they support...

Intelligent stacking as way out of congested yards? Part 2

Container terminals are struggling with the everincreasing volumes, and are therefore searching for solutions to increase throughput capacity without expanding their physical footprint. One way is changing the stacking system itself. Another way is to increase yard density, however this typically leads to a productivity decline when exceeding cer tain occupancy rates

Intelligent stacking as way out of congested yards? Part 1

As container volumes keep increasing, new container terminals are being built and other terminals – in particular those that cannot easily extend their area – aim at increasing the density of the stacking yard.

Intelligent stacking as way out of congested yards? Part 2

Part 1 of this article was originally published in edition 31 of Port Technology International. It is available for download at http://www.porttechnology.org under journal archives. Part 2 will cover a simulation model, the results and conclusions.

Advanced applications for terminal operations

Container ter minals are struggling with ever-increasing volume, and are therefore searching for solutions to increase throughput capacity. On the other hand they target to increase their productivity on vessels in order to be able to handle bigger ships with larger call sizes in the same time windows. A terminal operating system (TOS) is playing a major role in today’s terminal operations, as it supports...

Quantifying the benefits of yard automation – updated

Introduction ABB, formerly ASEA, has been active in supplying cranes and equipment for over a 100 years and to this day has supplied electrical and automation equipment to more than 1,200 cranes of all types and in all parts of the world. ABB has and will supply automation and electrical scope to a number of demanding automation projects including: • Le Havre (SETO, 2003) –...

No growth? Squeeze the lemon!

It appears that everything is coming to a standstill due to the economic panic all around. The reality of the here and now is a drop in container handling volume to levels of 2006/2007. Most terminals will end 2008 still at par with 2007 as the first nine months showed steady growth. However, the dramatic drop since October has undone this increase. Thus, today’s reality...

How simulation modeling can support environmental initiatives at container terminals

The current port development situation requires detailed logic and supporting analysis for the expected energy and air emissions impact of new projects. This article defines a process for using advanced simulation model output to support a container terminal planning process.

TBA Group
Karrepad 2a, 2623 AP Delft, The Netherlands

Tel: +31644078022

Website: www.tba.group

Twitter: @TheTBAGroup

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/tba-netherlands

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/tbanetherlands/

Delivering products and services for Automation and Optimisation, Container Handling, Port Planning, Design & Construction, Container Handling, Automation, Port Planning, Design, Dredging & Construction, Simulation Modelling Software, Container Terminal Optimisation.

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