An application of design research to an offshore-supply port operation

Thais Spiegel, Heitor Mansur Caulliraux


This article presents a method for intervening systemically to structure port operations using Business Problem-Solving. First, the concepts associated with logistics and supply chain are presented in order to establish the basis for the proposition that ports be regarded as links in a chain. From that integrating perspective, methods and techniques can be applied more appropriately to port operations and contribute to surmounting partial approaches. Theoretical frameworks are then proposed to characterize and analyze how a particular port operates, with emphasis on decisions and processes that guide cargo movement and resource allocation necessary for the cargo cycle. The proposed method is applied to a private port which supports all the oil rigs of a basin in southeast Brazil, and through it are conducted operations that provide offshore logistical support. Completion of the method's problem definition, analysis and diagnosis stages culminates in the proposal of a new integrated model of scheduling.

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