In progress Heterogeneous Capacity Planning in Synchromodal Transport



This PhD project will focus on the strategic planning of capacity supply to support transport services in an intermodal freight network. We will frame capacity planning in particular reference to a synchromodal (synchronized-intermodal) context. Synchromodality is a burgeoning field of research that builds on investigations into intermodal and extended gate networks, and is presented as an evolution in intermodal freight systems. We characterize the problem scope as a system centered on an integrated seaport-hinterland network operator who is empowered to make dynamic decisions regarding route and mode selection in reference to exogenous inputs such as segmented shipper demand and fixed infrastructure. This integrated
dynamic planning approach is intended to provide network designers and operators with the tools to pursue improvements in network-wide cost eciency, capacityutilization, and modal balance by means of increased dynamic routing exibility. This project will additionally expand the formulation of such network systems to include multilevel competitive pressures in the design of capacited synchromodal network models, and to explore practice-inspired heterogeneity in capacity type and source.

The aim of this project is to develop new planning concepts, taking shippers' preferences (e.g. price, service quality, volume) and available transportation infrastructure as inputs. These planning concepts will be developed under various levels of information exchange, collaboration, and competition among vertically- and horizontally-aligned logistics organizations. The performance of the planning concepts in response to varying organizational arrangements and market structures will be evaluated and compared to motivate e ffective strategic transportation decision making. These planning models will be developed around and
applied to the case of the port of Rotterdam and its associated hinterland region, in particular with the European Gateway Services (EGS) network developed and operated by Europe Container Terminals (ECT).


intermodal networks, synchromodality, capacity planning, container transportation

Time frame

2016 - 2020

Supervisory Team

Rob Zuidwijk
Endowed Professor of Ports in Global Networks
  • Promotor
Bart Wiegmans
Bart Wiegmans
  • Copromotor