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ICT System addressed to integrated logistic management and decision support for intermodal port and dry port facilities

Final Report Summary - SAIL (ICT System addressed to integrated logistic management and decision support for intermodal port and dry port facilities)

The project is aimed at developing an integrated ICT tool able to support logistic chain of goods flow and all business operations provided in the port and the dry port areas. In recent years maritime traffic flow has been increasing in terms of volume of goods and interconnections with different means of transport, such as railway and road networks. The SAIL project developed a Decision Support System (DSS) and a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) to support the management of port intermodal facilities in a European context. Within this framework, experienced researchers worked on a precise representation, modelling and simulation of the intermodal port and of its connection with a dry-port area.

The SAIL model

Following the EC request, the project Consortium decided to change the website url with a dedicated one which would have been more easily accessible to the general public. This action will be dealt in the 2nd reporting period.
The current website address is and the project web portal is continuously updated with news and project results.
The main communications actions deal with the production of relevant articles and publications, also on specific magazines, addressing the scientific as well as the industrial community, the set up of a Web Portal to attract groups of interest in the field of maritime transport and to scientific and industrial stakeholders, announcing the project at relevant meetings with port authorities and presentation of the SAIL project achievements at international conferences.
In particular, the following 5 SAIL special sessions were organized in international conferences (EMSS 2014, EMSS 2013, EMSS 2012 and CASE 2011 international conferences).
The project partners presented the 4 journal papers already published and 15 scientific papers accepted in international scientific conferences.
SAIL was also presented as a best practice Marie Curie IAPP project in an APRE (Agency for Promotion of the European Research, literally Agenzia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea) event. APRE is also the Italian National Contact Point for the MARIE CURIE IAPP programme.
The results of SAIL project were presented in local newspapers since the studied topics are very close to current and real problems of the area of the case study of Trieste.
Moreover, to promote dissemination of project results, the partners use their industrial contacts and networks to spread the knowledge about the SAIL research. KIC-TEIEP announced the SAIL results to the port authority partners that collaborate with such as Port of Bari (Italy), Port of Venice (Italy), Port of Ploce (Croatia), Port of Igoumenitsa (Greece), Port of Corfu (Greece), Port of Patras (Greece), Port of Dubrovnik (Croatia) , Porto of Kostantza (Romania), Port of Bari (Montenegro), Port of Durres (Albania) and Port of Burgas (Bulgaria).
In particular, SAIL received great attention from the operators in the Port of Trieste (Samer & Co. Shipping Terminal, Trieste Marine Terminal, freight forwarders association) and from the team of the intermodal terminal of Fernetti, that actively collaborate with the project activities.

WP1 “Project Management” assured a continuous and productive information exchange with the partners via email, Skype and phone, as well as during internal meetings (physical and via Skype). The coordinator monitored the overall progress of the project, such as progress in work-packages, timing of activities against milestones and deliverables agreed in the Contract. Partners constantly communicated through weekly and monthly TelCos. Six ToK workshops were organized, in the last period the 4th TOK was held in February 2012, the 5th TOK and the 6th TOK were organized in conjunction since all the activities in Wp5 and WP6 have been carried out in a coordinated way in a track session during the European Modelling & Simulation Symposium 2013 (EMSS 2013), “Simulation Approaches in Logistics Systems”, September, 2013.
Deliverables D1.1 and D1.2 were issued as foreseenin the second reporting period. Some changes in the ToK plan occurred and were officially approved. Some deviations and delays occurred mainly related to the implementation activities and last secondments, but they do not cause major delays in the project. The project ended, as foreseen, within the four-years length following the request of the consortium to use the extension of the forth year.
WP2 “Requirements Analysis” was rescheduled to start on M4 and was concluded on M13 with the Milestone 1, focused on the system requirements definition. Both deliverables, D2.1. and D2.2 were released and accepted.
WP3 "Decision Support System, DSS" focuses on assisting decision makers in taking an “optimal” decision as well as the most suitable approach for developing DSSs in an environment such as an intermodal Port at operational, tactical, strategic decision levels. The main concepts and components of a DSS and corresponding methodologies and algorithms were examined and developed inside the DSS, focusing on the Dry Port at Fernetti and at the Port of Trieste. The output of this analysis is the input for the development of a prototype system. This WP is the result of a strong cooperation between the KIC’s Team with the TEO and UNITS Teams.
WP4 "Development of the Discrete Event Simulation, DES" focuses on the development of UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagrams to describe the static components and the for dynamic parts of the studied system. To translate the reference model of the case study into a simulation model, the system is modelled as a discrete event system, then implemented in the Arena environment to generate the ARENA simulation model. By the proposed architectural solution, a set of Arena servers is provided and each server is independent from the others. This approach allows a parallel execution of the simulation requests by reducing the total execution time.
WP5 "Test of the algorithms and tools in case studies" focused on ensuring the proper behaviour of each component of the system. Tests were performed to evaluate accuracy and reliability of developed algorithms. A test database was developed in order to have a test environment close to reality for the operational level. Acceptance tests, to verify correct tools operation, and functional tests, to verify proper tools operation, were planned, executed for operational level using the database; at tactical level the integration between the DSS’s optimization algorithms and the DES is completed; at strategic level an AHP variant was implemented. Tests executed showed no evidence for need to revise the implementation, only small anomalies had to be fixed to guarantee proper functioning of the modules.
In WP6 "Integration and Evaluation of prototype Tools in the ICT", the integration of the developed components within an overall application was completed for all level modules. Test of operational, tactical and strategic levels were successfully completed: from integration among the overall system modules to the optimization algorithms. Tactical level was the last to be completed due to its technical complexity: it involves the overall system, the optimization component and a third party simulator, that resides on a different host from the other components. Architecture was already completed and successfully tested as reported in previous periods progress reports. A user-friendly application interface was developed for all level modules.