Optimal throughput of crude oil terminals with options for infrastructure improvements

Xuejun Feng, Mingong Wang, Yuwei Li, Weihua Gu, Yan Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Crude oil is a major commodity transported through ports. Determining the optimal throughput level of crude oil terminals is crucial for efficient utilization of coastal resources and sustainable development of ports. This paper develops a simulation model for estimating the logistics costs associated with the unloading operations of oil tankers at a terminal using the simulation package Arena. The model parameters are estimated using real data collected from a major crude oil terminal in China. Simulation results unveil the optimal throughput level that minimizes the overall logistics cost per ton of crude oil unloaded for a given terminal. In addition, the simulation is modified to examine various combinations of infrastructure improvements: adding a berth, upgrading handling equipment, and dredging the navigation channel. Their impacts on the optimal throughput level and the unit logistics cost are quantified, and suggestions on port infrastructure investments are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • arena simulation
  • Crude oil terminals
  • crude oil throughput
  • queuing models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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