This dissertation proposes an integrated approach for optimising synchromodal container transportation, motivated by two separate trends in the container transportation practice in North-West Europe. On the one hand, competition in hinterland transportation and the societal need for a modal shift towards sustainable modes require more integrated network optimisation of container transports. On the other hand, hinterland users increasingly require a cost-effective, but flexible and reliable delivery service. The concept of synchromodality was developed as an answer to these developments, combining efficient planning with a business model based on customer-oriented transportation services. This dissertation contributes by bringing together optimal transport planning in intermodal networks and the design of an optimal fare class mix of customer-oriented services. It includes 5 new models for operating such a synchromodal transportation network: service network design, disturbance analysis, real-time decision support and two variants of the cargo fare class mix design. All models are developed with the perspective of a centralised operator in an intermodal container network, with scheduled services between a deep-sea terminal and multiple inland ports. These scheduled services can be trains or barges, but not necessarily both have to be available. All 5 models have been applied to case studies based on the intermodal container network of European Gateway Services (EGS), a subsidiary of Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT).

Synchromodality, container transportation, hinterland, service network design, intermodal, disturbances, intermodal planning, decision support, decision trees, revenue management, fare class sizes
R. Dekker (Rommert) , R.R. Negenborn (Rudy)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management

This thesis is also printed as:
TRAIL Thesis Series no. T2018/2, the Netherlands Research School TRAIL
ISBN: 978-90-5584-232-2

Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Riessen, B. (2018, March 22). Optimal Transportation Plans and Portfolios for Synchromodal Container Networks (No. EPS-2018-448-LIS). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from