Economic Analysis and Strategic Planning of Innovations in Port-hinterland Container Logistics Networks



The “extended gateway concept” is gaining more and more momentum as a business network innovation based on the possibility of relocating some non-essential container seaport activities at hinterland intermodal facilities called “dry ports” and shifting cargo away from congested roads to alternative transport modes. Yet, research on the modeling of dry ports according to the extended gateway perspective is only at the beginning, and many issues still need to be more comprehensively considered.
The seminar will focus on the presentation of a capacitated network programming model for the economic analysis and strategic planning of port-hinterland container logistics systems. The model minimizes the total cost for the inland multimodal distribution of full and empty containers through a logistic network encompassing seaports, dry ports and other inland locations. It solves for the traffic demand among these different node types and, more generally, it estimates the modal and nodal split of inland traffics of import and export containers transiting through a regional seaport cluster.
The model allows to highlight and measure possible economic and social benefits arising both from shifting the seaport exit/entry of import/export containerized cargoes to dry ports, and from employing intermodal solutions for port-hinterland distribution. The programming problem examines the possibility of different types of customs control on full containers at seaport and dry port nodes, as well as the possibility to relocate the container releasing operations from seaports to dry ports through an extended gateway system based both on container carrier haulage under customs bond and without any accompanying inland transit document en route between seaports and dry ports, and on customs clearance at the dry ports.
The inland multimodal container network and flows of the seaports of Naples and Salerno located in the Campania region of Southern Italy have served as a basis for preliminary applications of the model. The loading units can transit through the regional dry port facilities at Nola and Marcianise, as well as through extra-regional locations which have a railway terminal, before reaching either the final destinations (import flows) or the seaports (export flows). 
Various modelled scenarios have been compared with the observed real-life scenario. These have been formulated and solved by means of a high level computer programming language and based on real data. The different scenarios have been also compared in terms of physical air emissions due to the transport operations.
Contact information:
Dr. Rob Zuidwijk