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The Human Effect on Customer Satisfaction

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Overview This story starts with a real-life quote from one of our clients, a terminal manager (or TM) at a liquid bulk storage terminal: “I think our planners are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”. Depending on the part of the world you are living in, this might or might not ring a bell. What the TM was saying, is that his team was trying to please their customers by promising a brighter future (in this case: earlier ship departures) than maybe could be realized. This seems harmless, so is this a problem?

Not understanding the impact of this behavior will hurt your terminal’s customer satisfaction and it is a cause for unnecessary demurrage costs for your clients. The earlier published paper “The Planner’s Dilemma” illustrates how difficult it is for humans to predict future times at berth of ships. In short: humans either allocate too much (“long planning”) or too little (“short planning”) time for a future arrival slot.

This paper is the 2nd publication in a series of papers describing the relation between planning & scheduling, waiting time and berth occupancy. It is an additional case study and supports the results of the 1st publication (“The Planner’s Dilemma”). A 3rd paper will be published discussing the percentage of berth occupancy and waiting times that can be reduced by better predicting pump times.

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