Lauga & Associates Consulting Ltd. - Port Planning and Marine Consultants

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Sulphur Terminal
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Inventory Model of Two Sulphur Terminals

Client Requirements

Sultran Ltd. ships sulphur from 11 sulphur forming plans along three rail routes to two Vancouver terminals.  Sultran wished to investigate improved inventory management at its terminals.  Sultran has 7 members using its facilities and handles three grades of sulphur.  Important issues for Sultran were:

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 Equity among its members, large and small, and;

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Security of scheduled shipments.

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Accountability

 What Was Provided

Lauga & Associates carried out a simulation analysis to test several candidate inventory models.  A comprehensive report and analysis were provided.

The Model

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The simulation causes ships, to remove stock, and trains, to add stock, at the terminals as dictated by the actual histories of trains and ships obtained from the Sultran Ltd. operations database.  The simulation reads in a lengthy and detailed data set of train and ship information consisting of up to 15,000 records, each with 54 data fields.

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The simulation works on the basis of a timed sequence of events at the terminal.  An event is the dumping cargo by a train or the lifting of cargo by a ship.  Because the simulation is tracking timed events, it is able to spot opportunities for direct hits.  If, by fortunate coincidence, a train is dumping the grade that a ship at the terminal wants to load, the simulation records an addition to the volume of direct hits.  The simulation also keeps track of vessel queuing, berth occupancy, and dumper occupancy.  The simulation is set up to change assumptions about the number of dumpers, berths, terminals, materials handling rates, numbers of grades, etc.

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The simulation creates a product loan if a marketer has insufficient stock to load what a ship at the terminal wants.

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The simulation creates a space loan if a marketer has insufficient allocated space to accommodate what is contained on a train that wishes to dump at the terminal.

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A marketer with a product loan shows up in the simulation having a negative stock balance.  As train deliveries for the marketer come in, the negative balance is reduced in much the same way as a bank overdraft is reduced by a deposit into the bank account.

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The simulation produces output that includes stock histories, berth occupancy histories and information about stock loans, space loans and the use of terminal storage.   The simulation also tracks the age of inventory.

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The simulation is capable of testing various development options for materials handling. 

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The simulation is also capable of expanding its scope to include upstream operations (by trains and at plants) or downstream operations (by ships).

 

Sultran Ltd. exports sulphur from 11 forming plants along 3 rail lines to 2 export terminals.

 

 

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