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Cotton Logistics as a Model for Analysis of Biomass Transportation Issues

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  036082,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13910) @2003
Authors:   Poorna P. Ravula, John S. Cundiff, Robert D. Grisso
Keywords:   Discrete Event, Simulation, Logistics, Cotton, Biomass, Modeling, Transportation, Optimization

More than 90% of the cost to transport biomass is fixed cost of the truck. To reduce this fixed cost, the central processing plant will have to increase the utilization of these trucks. That is, more biomass has to be transported by these trucks every day. A First-In-First-Out (FIFO) logistic system of a cotton gin in southeast Virginia was analyzed to determine their average truck utilization and the effects of decreasing the number of trucks.

The results of the simulation show with six trucks, average truck utilization was 73.8% and the gin utilization was 76.87%, for five trucks, truck utilization went up to 86.22% but the gin utilization went down to 69.65%. Increasing mean truck travel time from 95.61 min to 105.61 min increased truck utilization to 81.9% (for 6 trucks) and decreased gin utilization to 75.41%. Similarly, truck utilization went up to 89.5% and gin utilization went down to 66.71% for five trucks. It was determined that the gin cannot operate efficiently with 5 trucks. Module call-in rates currently constrain truck utilization rates. Increasing customer base from current levels is the only way to increase truck utilization factor.

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