Sustainable Intermodal Freight by Route Choice with Practicality Constraints

Sustainable Intermodal Freight by Route Choice with Practicality Constraints


M Sawadogo, A Didier, D Roy, Université Paul Verlaine de Metz, FR


This paper aims at building a decision support system helping decision makers in choosing paths and transportation modes that promote sustainability and reduce city congestion. We also include the practicality of transportation mode.


The transfer of goods and raw materials from one point to another in a supply chain is by various transportation modes namely road, air, sea or inland water, railway... These transportation modes generate a variety of potentially harmful environmental impacts. Indeed, the growth of multimodal infrastructures and intermodal services contributes to intensify the environmental impacts. The levels and types of pollution due to transport mainly depend on the combination of two factors: the type of transportation mode and travel distances. Bringing environmental issues into a transportation system changes the configuration of a supply chain and brings a need of changes in logistics infrastructures. Therefore, we must find sources for improving desired environmental performances without sacrificing the transportation cost and time. Some companies are asking if they really need to make these changes; as demonstrated in Sawadogo and Anciaux (2009) making a right choice of transportation mode have many benefits in terms of impacts reducing and economic growth.

Pointing out these questions, the present study advances the use of ant colony optimization algorithm for multiobjective shortest path problem, by first evaluating transportation carbon footprint and the other impacts in a supply chain and providing a limit degradation of the economic benefits. We aims at building a sustainable transportation system reducing not only the carbon footprint or waste but also taking into account the infrastructures end of life management and the societal aspects in order to build an Integrated Sustainable Supply Chain(ISSC). Our contribution includes the modelling of environmental (greenhouse gas, energy consumption) and societal (accident risk, noise) impacts of transportation systems, the modelling of the economic factors (travel time, travel cost, damage due to transhipment), and the proposal of a decision support system in order to help decision makers in choosing paths and transportation modes that promote sustainability and contribute to the reduction of city congestion due to freight. This study also includes the practicality of transportation mode, this answers the question: the transportation mode m considered (rail, road, boat ...) practical to convey a quantity Q of goods, or to travel through a distance d. For example for long-distance travel it is better to use the plane or the boat instead of the road, or for certain amount of good, it can be better to use a train instead of a road; this has been including when choosing transportation mode. A numerical analysis is made based on a European transport network build using real geographical data and Pareto-optimal solutions are analysed.


Association for European Transport