FITNESS: an Agent Based Modelling Approach to Freight Intermodal Chains



FITNESS: an Agent Based Modelling Approach to Freight Intermodal Chains

Authors

V Reis, CESUR, Instituto Superior Técnico, PT; R Macário, CESUR, Instituto Superior Técnico and TIS, PT; Consultores em Transportes, Inovação e Sistemas, s.a.

Description

The paper describes and applies to a case study on freight intermodal transport an agent based model of the friction concept.

Abstract

The paper describes and applies to a case study on freight intermodal transport an agent based model of the friction concept.
Over the past few decades, intermodal transportation undergone notable advances at diverse levels: technological, operational or legal. Nonetheless, intermodality continues lagging behind other transport solutions, namely, continental road transport, meaning that problems continue to hamper its performance.
Those problems lay nowadays at organisational level, in particular in how the modes of transport and transport agents fit themselves. Fitting modes have the potential of achieving higher performance levels, because there few (or no) losses occur at the interactions amongst them. On the other hand, low fitting modes are not able to attain high performance levels because the losses at the interaction amongst modes limit it. Therefore, the assemblage of potentially high performance transport chains depends upon the ability of choosing high fitting modes and agents.
The case study concerns an intermodal sea-rail-road chain. By sea the goods arrive (or departure) at the port of Sines, from here are conveyed by train to two rail terminals (Lisbon and Entrocamento) and finally are transported to final customers by road. Using Agent Based Modelling (ABM) the chain? fitness level is assessed being identified the correspondent losses of performance. Accordingly, recommendations are made to improve the fitness level.
Agent based modelling (ABM) technique revealed to be suitable for modelling fitness because it allows to isolate the nature of interactions. ABM treats a system as a set of individual elements (with some properties, actions and goals) that interact (through a set of rules) within a determined environment (defined by the system?s boundaries).Mirroring to an intermodal transport chain, each mode of transport may be considered as an element that interacts with others in a temporary transport service.

Publisher

Association for European Transport