The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport
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The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport

Operations, Design and Policy

Edited by Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp

This book explores the great challenge of increasing the scope of intermodal freight transport. In view of the current dominant role of road transport and the increasing difficulties in coping with a growing number of vehicles in an efficient and sustainable way, intermodal freight transport could be considered a viable alternative. However, the book makes recognition of the fact that there is still a need to improve the performance of the intermodal transport system.
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Chapter 6: Container Terminal Handling Quality

Bart Wiegmans, Peter Nijkamp and Piet Rietveld


Bart Wiegmans, Peter Nijkamp and Piet Rietveld 6.1 INTRODUCTION In the container terminal handling market, quality is important in attracting and retaining customers. In Europe, container carriers do have choices between different container ports that can meet their demand. For the terminal operator, this results in increasing importance of quality of services and the need to know the needs of (potential) customers. A favourable network position and well-organized processes are no longer sufficient to attract container volumes. Meeting customer needs and delivering high quality (speed, reliability, and so on) for low costs are critical factors. Currently, adoptions of innovative handling systems to improve operations (and thus quality) have not been signalled in the European container terminal market (Bontekoning 2002). This might be due to the fact that these systems are not cheap and their added value is not recognized by terminal operators so far. Transport research in the EU (Intermodal Quality 1997; European Commission 1997; TERMINET 1998) shows the following important quality elements concerning transport: time, reliability, flexibility, qualification, accessibility, control, handling price, frequency, speed, long-term planning, management, and safety and security. Dedicated quantitative information on container terminal handling quality is hard to find in the literature. Container terminals are monitoring their quality levels (mainly internal processes), but the results are not made public. Therefore, a more general literature survey forms the main input for this chapter combined with 14 interviews with terminal operators. The aim of this chapter is to offer an approach for measuring...

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