Multimodal schedule design for synchromodal freight transport systems
Intermodal freight transport has been discussed for decades as an alternative to unimodal road transport. However, it still does not represent a significant portion of the total freight market. A new and promising possibility to improve the performance of freight systems is the synchromodal design of hinterland transport systems. A cornerstone for synchromodality is an integrated view in the design and operation of intermodal transport. A main benefit of this integrated view is an improved flexibility in mode choice in hinterland transport. This paper gives a detailed description of this integrated view for synchromodal freight transport. Based on this description, a mathematical model for designing service schedules for synchromodal freight transport systems is also presented. The benefits of providing integrated transport services compared to separately planned transport services are also discussed for a case in the hinterland network of the Port of Rotterdam.