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Evaluation and Modelling of Short Haul Intermodal Transport Systems
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5269-4356
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Conventional intermodal rail freight transport systems have proved themselves competitive and able to offer cost-leadership on long distances and in endpoint relations between two nodes. Several studies within intermodal transports have made contributions in finding the minimum distance, the “break-even” distance that an intermodal door-to-door shipment can compete with unimodal road. The results for European conditions are found in the range 300-800 km. The main aim of this doctoral thesis has been to analyse under which conditions a short haul transport system with the railway as a base can be considered a feasible solution.

This has been conducted within the framework of two research projects. In the main research project of this thesis; REGCOMB (Regional Combined Transport System – A system study in the greater Stockholm-Mälaren region), the feasibility is evaluated in a bi-sectional manner; first a quantitative assessment is carried out where costs and CO2 emission are estimated for a set of transport alternatives in the greater Stockholm region, Sweden. The project involves a case study of a shipper’s distribution of daily consumables in the Stockholm-Mälaren region. The case study evaluates the concept of an intermodal liner train, which differs from other conventional rail freight systems, as it similar to a passenger train makes stops along the route for loading and unloading. The quantitative assessment has been accomplished by the development of a cost model, Intermodal Transport Cost Model (ITCM). The most critical parameters are the train’s loading space utilization and the transshipment. The time and cost spent for transshipment of unit loads restrict the competitiveness of intermodal services on shorter distances as these parameters are not proportional to transported distance but rather to the utilization rate of resources. Hence, the concept of cost-efficient small scale (CESS) terminals is introduced and evaluated in this study. Second, a qualitative assessment of the socio-technical system is carried out regarding stakeholders’ perspectives and requirements; based on the participative research i.e. experts involved in in-depth interviews, workshops and a survey. The system must satisfy broader policy objectives of local authorities and commercial corporate interests in order to be adopted. The business model that represents the conceptual idea of the study is identified as ‘the local cooperation model’, where the intermodal transport service is organized by several local actors along a transport route. Regions where cost-leadership coincides with a strong will from local authorities to implement regulations in the freight transport market that promote intermodal transports have created a foundation for implementing short haul intermodal rail freight services. Two operational examples are presented in this thesis; the E&S system in Japan and the Innovatrain system in Switzerland.

In the minor research project of the thesis; BIOSUN (Sustainable Intermodal Supply Systems for Biofuel and Bulk Freight), an evaluation is carried out regarding rail-based multimodal transportation of wood biofuels. In essence, it is the factors affecting rail transportation of biofuel and the inherent capability of the rail mode that are addressed. The qualitative evaluation consists of STEEP analysis for the external factors influencing the transport system and sustainability analysis for the internal factors. These methods are complemented by quantitative analysis of a case study, which offered an opportunity to model a rail-based multimodal transport chain for the supply of a heating plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. The results of the case study show that the break-even distance is considerably lower for biofuel transport chains than for other commodities; 180-250 km, which is mainly due to the requirement of road-road transshipment as well as the fact that intermodal terminals can be combined with wood processing facilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , xv, 69 p.
Series
TRITA-TSC-PHD, 16-003
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184510ISBN: 978-91-87353-46-4 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-184510DiVA: diva2:916253
Public defence
2016-04-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160404

Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2016-06-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Intermodal Transport Chain Structures and Competitiveness for Combined Transports
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intermodal Transport Chain Structures and Competitiveness for Combined Transports
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116049 (URN)
Conference
4th TRANSLOG 2012 CONFERENCE, Burlington, Ontario, Canada. October 15-16 2012
Note

QC 20130522

Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2016-04-19Bibliographically approved
2. Intermodal Liner Freight Trains: Opportunities and Limitations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intermodal Liner Freight Trains: Opportunities and Limitations
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hong Kong, China: , 2011
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-115910 (URN)
Conference
THE 16TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF HONG KONG SOCIETY FOR TRANSPORTATION STUDIES (HKSTS)
Note

TSC import 1245 2013-01-15 QC 20130531

Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2016-04-04Bibliographically approved
3. Intermodal Transport Cost Model and Intermodal Distribution in Urban Freight
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intermodal Transport Cost Model and Intermodal Distribution in Urban Freight
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on City Logistics, Elsevier, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to model a regional rail based intermodal transport system and to examine the feasibility of it through a case study for a shipper of daily consumables distributing in an urban area and to evaluate it regarding cost and emissions. The idea of an intermodal line train is that of making intermediate stops along the route thus enabling the coverage of a larger market area than conventional intermodal services, hence reducing the high cost associated with feeder transports, the congestion on the road network and generated externalities. The results of the case study indicate that the most critical parameters for the feasibility of such a system are the loading space utilization of the train and the cost for terminal handling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Series
Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, ISSN 1877-0428
Keyword
Intermodal Transport, Urban Rail Freight, Freight Cost Modelling, Terminal Handling, Case Study
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Effektiva tågsystem för godstrafik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122694 (URN)10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1480 (DOI)000341317700030 ()
Conference
The 8th International Conference on City Logistics, Bali, Indonesia, June 17 - 19, 2013
Projects
Regional kombitransportsystem i Mälardalen
Note

QC 20130531

Available from: 2013-05-27 Created: 2013-05-27 Last updated: 2016-04-08Bibliographically approved
4. Stakeholder Analysis in Intermodal Urban Freight Transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stakeholder Analysis in Intermodal Urban Freight Transport
2016 (English)In: Ninth International Conference on City Logistics, Elsevier, 2016, Vol. 12, 750-764 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of rail based intermodal transportation in urban regions. The feasibility is evaluated in a bi-sectional manner; first a quantitative assessment is carried out where costs and CO2 emission are estimated for a set of transport alternatives in the greater Stockholm region, Sweden. The most critical parameters are the train's loading space utilization and the transhipment. Second, an analysis is made based on the principles of the ‘Delphi’ method i.e. experts involved in in-depth interviews, workshops and a survey; regarding stakeholders’ perspectives for utilizing such systems. The system must satisfy broader policy objectives of local authorities and commercial corporate interests in order to be adopted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Series
Transportation Research Procedia, ISSN 2352-1465
Keyword
Intermodal transport, Transhipment Interface, Urban freight transport, Road-Rail
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184508 (URN)10.1016/j.trpro.2016.02.029 (DOI)000377574100062 ()
Conference
9th International Conference on City Logistics, June 17-19, 2015, Tenerife, Spain
Note

QC 20160401

Available from: 2016-04-01 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2016-07-18Bibliographically approved
5. Evaluation of Rail-based Multimodal Transportation ofBiofuels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of Rail-based Multimodal Transportation ofBiofuels
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis, Tokyo, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to analyse the internal and external factors influencing rail-basedmultimodal transportation of wood biofuel i.e. wood raw materials e.g. chips and branchesthat are used for production of energy. The analysis is conducted for the Swedish marketand by using a bi-sectional qualitative framework. First, a STEEP analysis is conducted inorder to analyse the external factors affecting railway transportation of biofuel. STEEP isan acronym for: Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental and Political and it isused as a strategic tool to analyse external factors that influence a business. Second, theinternal factors are evaluated through the three main dimensions of sustainability:environmental, economic and social. In essence, it is the factors affecting railtransportation of biofuel and the inherent capability of the rail mode that are addressed.Albeit the two methods are to their nature qualitative approaches, the evaluation iscomplemented by quantitative analysis of the niche market as well as a case study.A main conclusion from the qualitative analysis is that rail transportation of biofuelfaces a number challenges that in many cases are related to a relatively high share of fixedcosts and operational inflexibility. The main drivers for it are commonly associated witheconomies of scale and the relatively low environmental impact. Estimates from the casestudy show that the break-even distance i.e. when the cost for intermodal transports equalsunimodal road, is 50-55% lower for biofuel transport chains than for other commoditiesand significantly decreases CO2 emissions compared to unimodal road.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tokyo: , 2015
Keyword
Rail freight, Biofuel, Multimodal transportatio n, STEEP analysis, Sustainability analysis
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184509 (URN)
Conference
The 6th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis
Note

QC 20160401

Available from: 2016-04-01 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2016-04-04Bibliographically approved

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