Real-time disruption management approach for intermodal freight transportation

Martin Hrušovský, Emrah Demir, Werner Jammernegg, Tom Van Woensel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations


    The share of intermodal transportation, which is often considered as a sustainable transportation alternative, is rather low compared to road transportation. There are several reasons for this situation, including the increased need for coordination of scheduled transport services and the reduced reliability of intermodal transport chains in case of disruptions. In this regard, developing an advanced algorithmic approach can help to handle real-time data during the execution of transportation and react adequately to detected unexpected events. In this way the reliability of intermodal transport can be increased, which might help to increase its usage and to minimize the negative externalities of freight transportation. This paper proposes a novel real-time decision support system based on a hybrid simulation-optimization approach for intermodal transportation which combines offline planning with online re-planning based on real-time data about unexpected events in the transportation network. For each detected disruption, the affected services and orders are identified and the best re-planning policy is applied. The proposed decision support system is successfully tested on real-life scenarios and is capable of delivering fast and reasonably good solutions in an online environment. This research might be of particular benefit to the transport industry for using advanced solution methodologies and give advice to transportation planners about the optimal policies that can be used in case of disruptions.

    Original languageBritish English
    Article number124826
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    StatePublished - 20 Jan 2021


    • Disruption management
    • Intermodal freight transportation
    • Real-time planning
    • Simulation-optimization


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