CO2REOPT are based on the challenges in two transport corridors. CO2REOPT will capture and generalize the situations in order to develop optimization methods to improve both the coordination between actors in different segments of the transport corridor and also improve the coordination strategies between different segments along the corridors.
Integrated resource optimization on the iron ore corridor
The iron ore corridor goes via railway from the iron ore fields in Northern Sweden to the port of Narvik in Norway and by sea to the Netherlands and other European destinations. The railway line is owned by Trafikverket (Sweden) and Jernbaneverket (Norway) with six different Railway Undertakings operating. The railway is also important for multimodal transports to the Arctic Region. The line is heavily congested with lots of delays, threatening both the iron ore business and the environmentally friendly supply chain.
To avoid suboptimal usage, the integrated planning must be improved. First, robust timetable planning and real-time disruption management focus on resource optimization for the Infrastructure Managers, leading to inefficient resource utilization at the other actors (vehicle, crew, locomotive). An integrated disruption management across the border would lead to a more efficient resource utilization for all.
Optimization of synchromodal transport in the corridor by Samskip
Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal has built a lot of experience in developing synchromodal transport solutions. E.g. the transport corridor between the Samskip Duisburg terminal and various terminals in Sweden and Norway features daily rail services. Truck services provide pre- and end-haulage. Alternative routes are offered by short sea connections via the Port of Rotterdam, and direct trucking. Samskip offers these services via their synchromodal solutions where the transit time is committed to the customer.
To make intermodal transport solutions reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly, and a viable alternative to truck transport, a number of conditions need to be met: (1) high utilization of the high capacity modes rail and short sea shipping; (2) seamless transshipment between modes; and (3) high-frequent main haulage using rail and short sea shipping.
These conditions can only be met when all links in the transport chain are synchronized, not only at the operational level, but also at the tactical and strategic level. Supply chain collaboration is a key element, and efforts and investments need to be made beyond the direct interests of individual partners.
Progress beyond the state-of-the-art
In transport chains, short and reliable transport times are essential. Total transport times are influenced by disturbances and disruptions on the links, and by transfer delays in the hubs. The latter makes synchronization of input and output processes with each other and with internal hub processes highly relevant. This project aims at reducing total transport times.
Unfortunately, disturbances and disruptions are more or less inevitable in transport chains. Therefore it is essential to have effective measures to deal with them. One may deal with delays and disruptions within one transport mode, but one may also aim at switching to alternative modes. The latter, synchro-modality, is an innovative way to increase the robustness and agility of supply chains. This project aims at effectively using the possibilities of synchro-modality to create more robust and agile transport chains.
Disruption management in transport systems is so far very much focusing on passenger transport. Disruption management for cargo transport is rather new and quite different from disruption management for passenger transport. Indeed, cargo is less flexible and cannot reschedule and reroute itself, as passengers can. On the other hand, the destinations of all cargo units are usually known, which allows one to take these into account when rescheduling the system. This project will develop decision support tools for disruption management of cargo transport systems, thereby also taking into account the relations with passenger transport systems due to shared utilization of resources. The project will mainly focus on timetable rescheduling, but also on vehicle rescheduling. The project will not focus on crew scheduling.
Furthermore, we aim to apply an integrated approach in the disruption management process. The traditional approach is to reschedule timetables first, and then the vehicles. However, due to the lower flexibility of cargo, an integrated approach will be needed when rescheduling cargo systems. The timetable and the vehicles will have to be rescheduled in an integrated way, since otherwise easily unbalances in the vehicle flows may occur.
In principle, timetables are inflexible measures to regulate traffic flows. They represent a supply-
oriented transport system. This is useful in passenger transport, where passengers are used to get information about timetables already long time before their journey. However, cargo transport is much more focused on short-term planning, which requires a demand-oriented transport system.
In this project we will develop innovative ways to combine these two approaches in a flexible transport system, providing both passenger and cargo transport.