Dynamic shipment routing in global synchromodal transportation

Dynamic shipment routing in global synchromodal transportation

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Global synchromodal transportation involves the movement of container shipments between inland terminals located in different continents using ships, barges, trains, trucks, or any combination among them through integrated planning at a network level. One of the challenges faced by global operators is the matching of accepted shipments with service...

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... It takes advantage of the good flexibility, mobility and accessibility of road, and meanwhile benefits from the high-cost efficiency and environmental sustainability of rail that yields economics of scale [1]. Therefore, it is an effective option to take the place of low-efficient unimodal road transportation that still dominates the freight industry in Europe [2] and China [3], and provides a promising solution to establish an efficient and sustainable logistics system that supports globalization and international trade [4]. In such a transportation system, drayage operators transport goods between intermodal terminals, origins and destinations by road, terminal operators transship goods between road and rail, network operators use rail transportation to transport goods between intermodal terminals, and intermodal operators represent customers and collaborate with the above players to provide customers with transportation services [5]. ...
... Notably, in long-distance and bulk transportation, road-rail intermodal transportation is costly and time consuming [9]. It also produces large amounts of greenhouse gases and is faced with considerable risks in the dynamic and uncertain environment [4]. Road-rail intermodal routing can provide a solid solution for intermodal operators to respond to above challenges. ...
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This study investigates a road-rail intermodal routing problem in a hub-and-spoke network. Carbon cap-and-trade policy is accommodated with the routing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Multiple time windows are employed to enhance customer flexibility and achieve on-time pickup and delivery services. Road service flexibility and resulting truck operations optimization are explored by combining truck departure time planning under traffic restrictions and speed optimization with the routing. To enhance the feasibility and optimality of the problem optimization, the routing problem is formulated in a fuzzy environment where capacity and carbon trading price rate are trapezoidal fuzzy parameters. Based on the customer-centric objective setting, a fuzzy nonlinear optimization model and its linear reformation are given to formulate the proposed routing problem that combines distribution route design, time window selection and truck operations optimization. A robust possibilistic programming approach is developed to optimize the routing problem by obtaining its robust solutions. A case study is presented to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approaches. The results show that the multiple time windows and truck operations optimization can lower the total costs, enhance the optimality robustness and reduce carbon dioxide emissions of the routing optimization. The sensitivity analysis finds that increasing the lower bound of the confidence level in the robust possibilistic programming model improve the robustness and environmental sustainability; however, worsen the economy of the routing optimization.