Assessing Service Design Options and Strategies for Overcoming Barriers in the Reorient Intermodal Freight Transport Corridor

Assessing Service Design Options and Strategies for Overcoming Barriers in the Reorient Intermodal Freight Transport Corridor


E Miller-Hooks, H S Mahmassani, V Charan Arcot, A Kozuki, A Kuo, C-C Lu, R Nair, K Zhang, University of Maryland, US


Findings from experiments conducted in a dynamic freight network simulation platform to compare alternative rail freight service options and assess proposed strategies for overcoming barriers to interoperability in the REORIENT network are presented.


The development of an international, intermodal freight transport system bridging the Nordic countries with south and southeastern European regions via central Europe (known as the REORIENT corridor) is considered. Interoperability of such a system is key to its success. Barriers to interoperability within the REORIENT corridor have been identified and strategies for overcoming, circumventing or neutralizing such barriers have been developed. In this paper, barrier-reducing operational strategy scenarios are defined for given target years to assess a number of these strategies. Such strategy scenarios may be operational, administrative, legal, and management-related. Additionally, service design scenarios corresponding to alternative intermodal rail freight services and associated attributes (e.g. rates, frequency, time in transit) are proposed to assess service options that could viably compete with truck.

For each barrier-reducing operational strategy or service design scenario, numerical experiments were performed in a dynamic freight network simulation-assignment platform to assess the benefits of such strategies. The simulation-assignment platform was developed specifically for the analysis of multi-product intermodal freight transportation systems. At the core of the platform is a model framework for the mode-path assignment problem in multimodal freight transportation networks. The framework consists of three main components: multimodal freight network simulation component, multimodal freight assignment component, and a multiple product intermodal shortest path procedure. The freight network simulation component incorporates a bulk queueing model to evaluate transfer delay experienced by shipments at intermodal transfer terminals, classification yards, and ports. The multimodal freight assignment component determines the network flow pattern from a mode-path alternative set calculated by the multiple product intermodal shortest path procedure, based on the link travel costs and node transfer delays from the multimodal freight network simulation component. This model can represent individual shipment mode-path choice behavior, consolidation policy, conveyance link moving, and individual shipment terminal transfer in an iterative solution framework.

This paper provides an overview of the experimental platform, describes the barrier-reducing operational strategy and service design scenarios proposed to assess strategies for overcoming identified barriers to seamless implementation, and presents findings from the experiments conducted to test the scenarios. Implications of these findings for interoperability deployment in the REORIENT corridor are given.


Association for European Transport