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The Influence of Customer Agreements and Planning Principles on Rail Freight Performance
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Kvantiativ Logistik)
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rail freight transportation is recognized worldwide as a suitable transportation mode when it comes to long haul transportation of heavy commodities. The industry is also known to be capital intensive, highly dependent on infrastructural developments and requires thorough planning of operations. Despite intensive planning of operations, great challenges remain in how to make best use of existing resources. Especially uncertainties related to up-coming daily freight volumes stand as central causes behind such planning challenges.

This thesis focuses on rail freight carload transportation and concerns how customer commitments influence operational performance as well as potentials for improvements of operational planning principles. Problem statements are addressed using three separate studies and all experiments involve quantitative approaches.

The first study investigates effects of a potential Volume Variation Allowance (VVA) policy through simulation. The policy dictates how much freight volumes are allowed to vary by day of week. Results indicate that effects of the policy are relatively small, but an overall decrease in transportation times is observed. The study also identifies improvement potentials with respect to the current operational planning principles used within Swedish railways.

The second study proposes a new optimization-based approach for trip plan generation. The approach, including a number of extensions, is evaluated against the current industry practice. Results confirm the potentials for reduced transportation times, shunting activities as well as service frequencies. All experiments satisfy existing customer commitments.

The third study explores effects of a Fixed Carload Capacity (FCC) concept which partially allows capacity reservation on services. The study adopts an extension of the previously developed optimization approach. Results confirm the hypothetical trade-off between customer groups and the dependency on capacity reservation levels, but indicate that the concept has relatively small effects with respect to regular carload customers. On the other hand, benefits in terms of guarantee of service and reliability in transportation times can be observed for the customer under the agreement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 130 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1541
Keyword [en]
Rail freight planning, trip plan generation, routing and scheduling, dynamic assignment
National Category
Information Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77783ISBN: 978-91-7519-858-3OAI: diva2:529172
2012-06-20, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-06-08 Created: 2012-05-29 Last updated: 2012-06-08Bibliographically approved

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