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Operational Planning Problems in Intermodal Freight Transportation

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Jenny Nossak

This book addresses logistics problems (e.g., routing and partitioning problems) that are encountered in intermodal freight transportation. The reader is given an overview of the relevant literature, as well as of different mathematical formulations. Moreover, algorithmic solution approaches are suggested which are specially designed for problems that arise in the context of intermodal freight transportation, but can be applied to other areas as well.

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Intermodal freight transportation describes the movement of goods in stan- dardized loading units (e.g., containers) by at least two transportation modes (rail, maritime, and road) in a single transport chain (Bontekoning et al., 2004; Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004). The change of transportation modes is performed at specially designed terminals (also known as transshipment yards) by transferring the loading units without handling the freight it- self. The route of intermodal transport is namely subdivided into the pre-, main-, and end-haulage, which denote the route segments from customer to terminal, terminal to terminal, and terminal to customer, respectively (re- fer to Figure 1.1). The main-haulage generally implies the longest traveling distance and is typically carried out by rail or maritime, whereas the pre- and end-haulage are handled by trucks (i.e., vehicles) to enable door-to-door transports. The pre- and end-haulage is also referred to as drayage. Fig. 1.1: Intermodal Freight Transportation 2 Chapter 1. Introduction An essence of intermodal transportation – compared to the conventional unimodal transportation – is the ability to combine the advantages of the distinct transportation systems. For example, road-rail intermodal trans- portation consolidates the flexibility of road transport for short distances and the high transportation capacity of rail for long distances. Intermodal freight transportation has received an increased attention, e.g., by support programs introduced by the European Commission’s Direc- torate – General for Mobility and Transport, to divert freight transportation from road to rail and maritime in order to reduce road congestion and envi- ronmental pollution (European Commission, 2007, 2011). However, despite...

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