This document is the first in a series of three describing an investigation of possible improvements in methods for handling the storage of steel plates at Odense Steel Shipyard (OSS). Steel ships are constructed by cutting up plates and afterwards welding them together to produce blocks. These blocks are again welded together in the dock to produce a ship. Two gantry cranes move the plates into, around and out of the storage when needed in production. Different principles for organizing the storage and also different approaches for solving the problem are compared. Our results indicate a potential reduction in movements by 67% and reduction in time by 39% compared to current practices. This leads to an estimated cost saving by approx. 1.0 mill. dkr. per year. This paper describes the modelling aspects of the investigation.