IT Tools

Generation of Container Flows for Container Terminals

In maritime logistics, simulation and mathematical optimization are commonly used methods for planning, solving problems and evaluating solutions. For testing new solutions under realistic conditions, an extensive amount of actual operational data are urgently needed. Since comprehensive real-life data are often unavailable or classified, the generation of synthetic data is a helpful way to get around this issue. One such instance is when we want to study of the dynamics at a container terminal, the nodes which connect the seaside with the hinterland, transshipping containers between vessels of different sizes, trains, and trucks. The container terminal functions as a buffer between the modes and offers to keep the containers in the yard for some hours or days. The vehicle arrivals and the containers to be unloaded and loaded from the vehicle constitute the container flows through a terminal.

With ConFlowGen, short for Container Flow Generator, an IT tool has been developed at the Institute of Maritime Logistics which is capable of generating such synthetic scenarios. It has been first presented at the LDIC conference 2022 and has been subject to continous development since then. The tool has been deployed in internal projects at the institute as well as in theses of students. The source code is hosted at and is open source. The project is supervised by Marvin Kastner.


In case the project has sparked your interest, we'd like to learn more about you and maybe even your use case!

  • Kastner, Marvin and Grasse, Ole and Jahn, Carlos (2022). Container Flow Generation for Maritime Container Terminals. In Freitag, Michael and Kinra, Aseem, and Kotzab, Herbert, and Megow, Nicole (Eds.) Dynamics in Logistics. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference LDIC 2022, Bremen, Germany Springer: 133-143 [Abstract] [doi] [www]

  • Kastner, Marvin and Grasse, Ole (2024). Synthetically generating traffic scenarios for simulation-based container terminal planning. PIANC Yearbook 2023. [Abstract] [pdf] [www]

  • Édes, Luc and Kastner, Marvin and Jahn, Carlos (2024). On Estimating the Required Yard Capacity for Container Terminals. In Freitag, Michael and Kinra, Aseem and Kotzab, Herbert and Megow, Nicole (Eds.) Dynamics in Logistics Springer, Cham and Springer Nature Switzerland: Cham 171-182 [Abstract] [doi] [www]