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Port Simulation Determining Waterway Expansion Project Timing

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Author(s): Yun Peng, PhD, and Wenyuan Wang, Associate Professor, State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, China

Port waterways, which are the routes for ships entering and leaving a port, have become one of the bottlenecks restricting port development. A common question for decisionmakers is whether to build a new waterway or expand an existing one-way waterway to a two-way traffic waterway. Due to the complexity and randomness of port systems, numerical methods sometimes fail to obtain solutions to waterway problems. Simulation technology has been generally applied in port waterway management because of the advantages of dealing with such complex systems. Considering the high cost of construction and dredging for waterways, decisionmakers will be more confident in their decisions when the entire process of ships’ entering and leaving a port through waterway can be simulated. Our research team at Dalian University of Technology has developed a Port Waterway Simulation Model (PWSM) to simulate the whole process of ships transiting the waterway and handling at berth. 

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