Process design and procurement for a vehicle control system

The challenge

Norfolkline was operating three ferries between Dover and Dunkerque, with up to 12 sailings (each direction) a day that all transported vehicular passenger and haulage traffic. Norfolkline management had identified that the existing terminal layout at Dunkerque was sub-optimal with a number of processes creating bottlenecks for subsequent activities and the complete system. By optimising the vehicle parking area and installing a vehicle barrier system to control the flow of vehicles to the ferry, Norfolkline felt there were business efficiencies to be gained.

o&i consulting was engaged by Norfolkline to provide expertise and support in the design and procurement of an automatic vehicle barrier system.

Our role

The o&i consulting team documented the existing vehicular traffic flow process, and developed a set of detailed vehicle process flows and flow management for a system that incorporated a control barrier. The new processes illustrated how each vehicle market segment (e.g. standard car, caravan and trailer, VIP, dangerous goods traffic) would be handled, identified processes for exceptions (e.g. cancellations, booking changes, driver changes), and produced contingency options.

The next step involved the design of a road and parking layout that would facilitate and optimise the use of a barrier control system. The design of the parking area for departing vehicles included the approach lane layout, traffic filtering options, positioning and spacing of control barriers, and capacity assessments.

Our team produced and obtained client sign off for a detailed user requirement specification for the barrier system. The document incorporated existing and future IT requirements, available technologies for the management of incoming and outgoing vehicles, as well as the barrier specifications.

Subsequently, o&i consulting led a phase to identify potential equipment suppliers for the new system and oversee the procurement process. This included a desktop search to identify potential equipment suppliers, liaison with potential suppliers, and investigation of a shortlist of products. We also determined the requirement for the installation of a ‘test lane’ to assess the feasibility and reliability of equipment.

o&i expertise on this project

  • Process mapping
  • Process reengineering
  • End-to-end vehicle flow design and management
  • Capacity assessment
  • Layout design
  • User requirement specifications for new equipment
  • Technology and equipment supplier research


Project Key Facts

Title: Process design and procurement for a vehicle control system

Client: Norfolkline (now DFDS Seaways)

Theme: Transport & Logistics, Automation