University of Southern California Department of Biomedical Engineering The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering USC

 Marine Transportation

Project 1 

Automated Container Transport system between Inland POrt and Terminal (ACTIPOT)

Supported by METRANS  
Investigators: Professor Petros Ioannou, graduate student Jianlong Zhang (CATT at USC), Professor A. Chassiakos (California State University in Long Beach)
Status: current

                                             

Project 2

Cargo Handling Technologies

Supported by CCDoTT
Investigators: P.A. Ioannou, E. B. Kosmatopoulos, H. Jula, A. Collinge, C.-I. Liu, A. Asef-Vaziri, Ed. Dougherty, Jr.
Status: current
 

Project 3

Advanced Material Handling: Automated Guided Vehicles in Agile Ports

Supported by CCDoTT
Investigators: P.A. Ioannou, H. Jula, C.-I. Liu, K. Vukadinovic, H. Pourmohammadi, and Ed. Dougherty, Jr.
Status: current

 

Project 1

The purpose of this project is to study the development of a system known as ACTIPOT that involves dedicated lanes between an Inland Port and terminals where trucks would go back and forth under full automatic control. The study will concentrate on the development of longitudinal and lateral control systems for trucks as well as control systems for the infrastructure that will provide the appropriate routing and guidance of the automated truck system. We will study the related control, sensor and communication technologies as well as safety considerations, scheduling and dispatching issues associated with the transport of cargo between the two modes of transportation. Figure 1 shows a possible layout for an ACTIPOT system. A feasible application of the ACTIPOT system is in the Long Beach area between the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), denoted by in Figure 2, as an inland port and Pier G, denoted by , as a container terminal. Simulations will be carried out to verify the proposed system.

Print it!

Project 2

The purpose of this research is to select and evaluate state of the art cargo handling technologies for both commercial and military operations. The emphasis of the study is on the quantitative assessment of the performance of existing, emerging and conceptual, commercially developed technologies for terminal operations.

Existing, emerging and conceptual technologies have been identified through a variety of sources. These sources include marine industry magazines and publications, organizations, associations and cooperative programs, port and terminal personnel, technology vendors, the internet and discussions and correspondence with other researchers.

The major categories of cargo handling technologies studied are:
1. Storage and Retrieval Systems. These include ship and yard loading/unloading cranes, anti-sway systems, cell elevator, etc.
2. Equipment Tracking Technologies.
3. High Speed Sealift (HSS) Specific Ship-loading Technologies.
4. Multiple Trailer Systems.
5. Container Technologies.
6. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Yard Operations.
7. Linear Motor Conveyance Systems for Yard Operations.
8. Automated Storage and Retrieval Multi-Story Systems (AS/RS) for Yard Operations.

In each category we discuss current and future developments, current use, current and future performance expectations and where possible we discuss cost and secondary issues.

The technologies studied motivated three preliminary automated container yard concepts that are studied and evaluated. These are:
· Automated container yard using AGVs.
· Automated container yard using Linear Motor Conveyance Systems.
· Automated container yard using AS/RS.

The above concepts were simulated and their performance is compared with a base scenario of manual operations at the Norfolk International Terminal.

Print it!

Project 3


In this report, we address the use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and automation in improving terminal capacity and efficiency in the context of the agile port concept. In particular, several automated container terminal concepts that employ AGVs are developed and evaluated using a computer performance and cost model. Based on future projections made by several ports, regarding container volume and the use of larger ships to be served at terminals as fast as possible, we came up with design characteristics an Automated Container Terminal (ACT) needs to have in order to meet the projected demand.

In this research, a general layout of the ACT was developed where the interfaces of the storage yard with the ship, inland trucks and trains as well as the desired storage capacity of the yard are specified in order to meet the projected demand. The number of AGVs and loading unloading equipment is optimized so that the expected demand can be met with the least amount of equipment. A microscopic simulation model that models the proposed ACT systems, (validated using data from a conventional terminal), is developed and used to simulate the ACT systems for the same operational scenario in order to evaluate, and compare their performance.

Furthermore, a cost model is also developed to calculate the average cost per container, a measure used in the industry to assess cost effectiveness. The cost model was exercised for a hypothetical conventional terminal that has a performance similar to what is observed in most of todays terminals. We found that the significant difference between the various systems is the average cost per container.

Print it!