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

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St. Lawrence R.
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Vessel Operations Model of the St. Lawrence Seaway

Client Requirements


The United States and Canadian managers of the St. Lawrence Seaway required a vessel operations model.  The managers needed to test numerous water management plans to determine the impact on ship operations and ship costs.  Each water management plan is a complex series of water levels and flows at 13 locations on the Seaway.  Each plan covers 100 years of history and comprised many thousands of data items.

What Was Provided


Lauga & Associates provided a simulation model and other software tools for the Seaway managers to use.  The work included many work shops, training sessions and meetings with stakeholders in the marine sector.

The Model


bulletTo realistically characterize ship details, a 28,000 record data base of ship movements through the Seaway was incorporated into the simulation.  Each movement record had 73 fields that defined ship particulars, logistics and cargo.
bulletTo provide fine detail, the Seaway was divided into 362 segments, each about 1 nautical mile.  Each segment was defined by: particular operations rules, several speed rules, and an unique current speed equation defined by water level and flow.
bulletEach 100 year simulation of a plan processed about 500,000 day by day water levels and flows.
bulletEach 100 year simulation generated about 46 million ship records through each of the 362 segments.  Detailed information about fuel consumption, delays, transit times and cargo carried and vessel draught limitations was created.
bulletThe simulation provided reports about how the water management plans affected ships in aggregate, and on a ship by ship basis.  Operational performance indicators included: transit times, low water delay events, high river gradient delay events, speed reduction events for low water conditions, speed reduction events for high water conditions, etc.  Vessel costs for capital, operations, fuel, pilotage, Seaway tolls, etc. were also reported.




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