7 - q o 0 (Development of Port Technology and Organization)...

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cargo. Seen over a longer period, the container revolution appears more like a logical step in an evolutionary process that has been going for more than a century. A brief look at long-term developments can be helpful in putting recent advances into a historical perspective. New words and expressions throughput n. h hold n.. h The historical development( The following identity of throughput demand and throughput supply will be basic to our sketch of the historical development of ports: Q = φ· n · μ Where: Q = total port throughput; φ = expected berth occupancy rate; n = number of berths (most adequately measured by the total length of the quay line); μ= expected throughput capacity per berth. In the short run, a sudden increase in demand is met simply by an increase in the occupancy rate. This way out has an obvious limit; well before an occupancy rate of 100% is attainted, the queuing of ships will be intolerable. In the past, fairly long periods of port congestion have been experienced due to sharp increases in demand. The import boom of the nouveau riche oil producing countries is an example. The port of Lagos (Nigeria) was heavily congested during the years 1974-1977, where in 1975 the average waiting time of ships was 240 days! Similarly, in Saudi Arabia, to relieve pressure on the heavily congested ports, helicopters were used to unload ships and carry cargo to the inland destinations. However, in the long run, the rate of growth in demand has to be matched by an expansion of capacity. This can either take the form of additional berths (n) or increases in throughout capacity per berth (μ). When the cargo handled by the port is rather heterogeneous, a third means of increasing capacity may be to differentiate the port into specialized sections, for different types of cargo such as bulk, unitized cargo, or break-bulk
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cargo. Historically, the development of many ports can be roughly divided into two eras: a long period of capacity expansion by increasing the number of berths, followed in recent years by an era of berth capacity improvement. It is true that the cargo handling capacity per berth may have been growing also in the first era, especially as mechanized cranes replaced cranes powered by hand, but typically not at the rate of growth of throughput. h The era of berth number expansion The loading and unloading of ships have long been a severe bottleneck for sea-borne trade. A port that was situated along an estuary responded to increases in throughput by expanding in a lineal fashion along the river bank until it was constrained by some natural obstacle or until internal transport costs within the port area became excessive. Where the port town had been built up around a natural harbor--a protected firth with fairly deep water--the stage when the extension of capacity in this fashion could not go on any longer was reached sooner. If the width of the port cannot be further extended, how can capacity match demand as
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2011 for the course ECON 532 taught by Professor Qingcheng during the Fall '08 term at Tsinghua University.

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7 - q o 0 (Development of Port Technology and Organization)...

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