In progress Collaborative planning of reliable intermodal service networks



Container transport has revolutionized global trade. The main benefit of having a standard loading unit lies in the resulting standardization of handling operations. Containers can be easily moved using different transport modes whose deployment needs to be managed harmoniously. In this research project, we will focus on three challenges related to the operational planning of reliable synchromodal transport solutions. First, how can a single network operator plan the deployment of her assets dynamically while aiming at target values of reliability and costs. Second, in case of a collaboration between heterogeneous network operators, how can their particular contribution to a collaborative transport plan be evaluated by considering costs, and reliability as well. Third, what is the impact of self-interested behavior of network operators on the performance of a collaborative plan. Those three steps illustrate the shift in focus from a detailed description of the planning process towards a rich depiction of the current hinterland container transport network. While a single decision maker is interested in a detailed planning of her own processes, actors in a collaboration need to understand their own contribution. In a more realistic setting, stakeholders join a collaboration only when this can yield benefits with respect to their private objectives. Innovative contribution of this research is threefold: first, academic contribution in terms of new mathematical frameworks for adaptive planning and routing problems will be given; second, managerial insights will be obtained addressing issues of planning reliable intermodal transport solutions, collaborative planning and collaborative planning with self-interested actors; third, those results will provide the logic and managerial knowledge for the development of IT tools being deployed within the SELIS Project (European H2020 project funding my PhD position).


intermodal transport, container, reliability, collaboration, adaptive planning, cooperative game theory, bilevel programming

Time frame

2016 - 2020

Supervisory Team

Rob Zuidwijk
Endowed Professor of Ports in Global Networks
  • Promotor