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 9: The Impacts of Innovative Technical Concepts for Load Unit Exchange on the Design of Intermodal Freight Bundling Networks

Ekki Kreutzberger


Ekki Kreutzberger* IMPROVING TRANSPORT QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY: THE CENTRAL CHALLENGE 9.1 Transport actors periodically rethink their networks in an attempt to improve or maintain transport quality and efficiency, and company profitability. They hereby take account of changing production conditions and surroundings, such as: ● ● ● ● changes of the transport landscape and hence of size, direction, time and kind of freight flows; changes of component costs (for example labour, energy, locomotives); changes of performance at the node or link level; the emergence of new competition from parallel paths, other modes or other companies. The rethinking will often: ● ● ● start with a redesign of functional network operations: how to adjust bundling (consolidation) concepts, the circulation of vehicles,1 or door-to-door chains; elaborate this on a link and node level; end in the choice of physical means, amongst which are technical concepts (vehicle types, suprastructure and infrastructure). The objective is to choose physical means which appropriately respond to the functional requirements. 152 Innovative technical concepts for load unit exchange 153 While rethinking networks, network design actors are aware of the performances which are achievable by current or innovative physical means. During the last 20 years, especially in the 1990s of the twentieth century, many designers of intermodal transport networks2 were faced with or were involved in the development of new options, namely innovative node exchange concepts, like innovative terminals and vehicles. The innovative concepts were different from their predecessors. In fact they were so different, that they could be called new-generation concepts...

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