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1/3/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tacoma port, German institute develop software to monitor intermodal yard capacity



The Port of Tacoma, Wash., recently began marketing personal computer-based software designed to analyze and forecast intermodal rail yard capacity.

Jointly developed with Bremerhaven, Germany’s Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, the Intermodal Yard Capacity Planning System (IYCAPS) is targeted at ports, terminal operators and other intermodal players, particularly on the West Coast. The software can predict the effects of certain variables — such as seasons, equipment acquisitions and yard modifications — on capacity and determine train length based on the number of containers and freight-car type.

“Knowing the length of a train is important when you have a limited number of tracks,” said Udo Mehlberg, the Tacoma port’s information technology project manager and business analyst, in a prepared statement.

The Tacoma port uses the software to monitor capacity at two intermodal terminals. IYCAPS monitors trains arriving from Tacoma Rail or port hubs, and analyzes yard and train building operations, track availability, productivity, wait times and train moves to a railroad’s mainline.


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