Intelligent support system for resilient port terminal

BMelian_MMoreno_postBy Belén Melián-Batista and J. Marcos Moreno-Vega, associate professors, University of La Laguna.

International freight plays an important role in the development and consolidation of important economic sectors such as trade, industry and tourism. The ports are critical infrastructures within multimodal transport networks that integrate maritime and terrestrial environments. They are also vulnerable to unforeseen events caused by nature or by deliberate or accidental human actions. The consequences range from the reduction of the productivity up to the temporary closure of the port.

In order to manage the risks and improve the robustness of the system, mechanisms that increase the resilience of these infrastructures are important. Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover intelligently from eventualities, facilitating the development of activities in the shortest possible time.

« The design, implementation and validation of a support system for the intelligent management to ensure the resilience of a port container terminal becomes a key issue »

Port operators must have tools to help them identify what unforeseen events can affect the port and what are their consequences. Moreover, they must design strategies to minimize its occurrence (proactive approach). If despite this fact, the event occurs, they should enable protocols and adopt decisions to repair the situation by minimizing the response time or the impact of such an event (reactive action).

For proactive management, the use of simulation tools with which to assess the impact of unexpected events on the overall system performance is mandatory. For reactive management, the design of intelligent replanning algorithms that allow us to restore the performance of the port to pre-incident levels is required.