Port of Dover Cut Queues
A knowledge transfer partnership between the University of Kent and the Dover Harbour Board has helped reduce traffic congestion, boost efficiency and cut costs for the port.
The project started in 2016 when the Port of Dover, which handles £122 billion ($170 billion) of U.K. trade annually, appointed a graduate of the Kent Business School, Dr Cliff Preston, to work within the organization to help it use data modeling and simulation software to operate more effectively.
The work focused on improving how the port predicts likely traffic volumes to ensure it has enough staff on hand to process vehicles through the port and so minimize the risk of queues forming in and around Dover.
By improving its use of data from various sources, such as live traffic data on the motorways and past traffic levels at similar times, it has drastically reduced the use of the Traffic Assessment Project - a system that sees freight traffic held outside Dover by a series of traffic lights.
The traffic simulation model is now also used to help predict the requirement of the French border authorities operating in Dover to ensure traffic through the port is kept moving. The quantitative methods used have also been applied in analyzing the space and plant requirements of the port's new cargo terminal.
Spurred on by the success of the partnership, the port has sponsored an MSc graduate in the School of Physical Sciences to work for their organization over the next 12 months.