Since fixed costs are much higher than variable costs in container terminals, it is obvious that a terminal operator will strive to increase throughput. Only a high degree of utilization can justify the large investment required for a specialized container terminal. The optimum throughput of a container terminal, however, varies with different locational factors, operational policies, and competitive environments. Since the terminal depends on its customers, and obviously the ship operator is one of them, any evaluation of terminal capacity must take into account the viewpoints of both the port and the carrier. The ocean carrier favours ports that can provide enough capacity to ensure a fast turn-around time with no delays. Yet this may mean that the facility will be underutilized. On the other hand, port authorities prefer to employ their facilities at the highest rate possible. That, however, may cause congestion and waiting time.
Theoretically, the capacity of any container terminal should be determined as a compromise between these two outlooks, of the port and of the carrier, at which the combined cost of idle facilities and idle ships is the lowest. Practically, however, in a competitive port environment in which a ship operator has a choice of ports at his disposal, ports must ensure the availability of a berth upon a vessel’s arrival. As a result, although the technological progress brought about by containerization may have greatly improved cargo handling efficiency in ports, it is also responsible for the overcapacity of terminal facilities in most developed countries.
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因為固定成本比變動成本高級在容器終端裡, 它是顯然的, 一個總站調度員將努力增加生產量。唯一一個高利用程度可能辯解大投資必需為一個專業容器終端。容器終端的最宜的生產量, 然而, 變化用不同的位置上因素、操作的政策, 和競爭環境。因為終端依靠它的顧客,
並且船操作員明顯地是他們的當中一個, 終端容量的任一個評估必須考慮到口岸和載體觀點。海洋載體傾向可能提供足夠的容量保證快速的歸航時間沒有延遲的口岸。這也許意味, 設施將是利用不足的。另一方面, 港務局喜歡使用他們的設施以最高的速率可能。那, 然而, 也許導致壅塞和等待時間。
理論上, 任一個容器終端容量應該被確定作為妥協在這兩個外型之間, 口岸和載體, 無所事事的設施和無所事事的船的聯合的費用是最降低。實際, 然而, 在船操作員有口岸選擇在他的處置的一個競爭港環境裡, 口岸必須保證停泊處的可及性在船的到來時。結果, 雖然技術進展由containerization 達到也許很大地改進了貨物處理效率在口岸, 它負責還對終端設施超負荷在多數發達國家。