The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

Supply chain costs contribute to roughly 30% of a grain producer’s cost of production, adding up to $75/ton. The bottleneck of this supply chain is often the port. Port staff face several complex constraints and challenges when planning their operations. They must blend product to tight protein specifications, manage storage capacities, schedule fumigations, clean, do maintenance, react to changes in product arrival and vessels failing inspection, and more. This can lead to large operating inefficiencies and added costs (primarily staff and power costs).

This webinar recording will:

  • Provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP (Mixed Integer Program) that can model the operations at a port, including fumigation and blending constraints, and optimize movements of grain throughout the port.
  • Present an example port, which can process 5000 tons/hr and has 1m tons of storage. Using the first model, a solution is intractable (taking weeks to solve), but a second, more novel and optimal approach solves the problem within minutes!
  • Discuss port operations more generally, for those curious as to how they operate and how this research could be applied to other industries.

This webinar is presented by Dr Evan Shellshear, the Head of Analytics at Biarri. Evan has a career spanning the globe having worked in Germany, Sweden and Australia. He has worked on optimization projects in a wide variety of industries from the largest automotive manufacturers to small start ups. His knowledge spans all aspects of analytics from descriptive to prescriptive. He is also the author of multiple books including the best seller Innovation Tools.

You can download the materials associated with this webinar here.

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