Upgrading port efficiency using an advanced simulation centre



Cathrine M. Steenberg, Head of Department Simulation and Information Technologies, FORCE Technology, Lyngby, Denmark


The expanding Brazilian economy has envisaged a need for updating and enhancing its port infrastructure, in order to properly respond to the demands as a growing economic power amongst the other BRIC countries. The Brazilian National Institute for Waterway Research (INPH) will play a significant role in the upgrading and expansion phase of existing ports.

Brazil’s economic muscle ensures a continuous flow of its booming economy through more than 150 access points along its extensive shoreline. Brazil can be substantially benefited by the maritime and port industry as large amounts of capital will become available for a variety of intermodal improvements, such as a new generation of containerships, and the development of new and more advanced port terminal facilities to support exportoriented strategies. Therefore, the need to secure the logistical aspects of growth is an issue to be dealt with in the near future.

For this purpose, the Brazilian government has put a special focus on pinpointing the strategic ports of Brazil and making sure they live up to the future requirements.

New simulation centre in Rio de Janeiro
INPH will play a central role in the development and upgrade of the current port structure in Brazil. Since commercial ports require a high degree of efficiency in order to be profitable, every factor concerning the port has to be handled thoroughly from the start. Core aspects like approach and departure conditions, operational limits, tug requirements, limiting conditions due to water depth, assessment of downtime for operations, dredging limits and location of aids to navigation are but a few of the core pillars that will ensure the safety and efficiency of a port. To ensure that all the afore-mentioned issues are properly assessed, INPH has invested in an advanced simulation tool called SimFlex, developed by FORCE Technology.

The reason for this investment is found in the effectiveness offered by simulation. By using simulation, it is possible to test different port layouts and possibilities, thus ensuring the optimal safety and efficiency of the ports before any final decisions are made.

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