Strategy, performance improvement, combined rail-truck transport
Abstract: With increasing trade, freight transport demand has grown tremendously and as sustainability has become an essential concern of our globe, interests in improving and achieving effective and efficient rail freight transport have become an essential needs and focus of the 21st century. However, achieving an improved rail freight transport service and an increased market share in a competitive environment is rather complex in several aspects as freight trains would need to operate with principles and characteristics resembling those of passenger’s traffic in order to attract new type of goods. In order to adopt the principles and characteristics used in passenger trains, airlines and hotel industries into intermodal line train systems, a simulation model has been developed and implemented. The principles for pricing which we have considered are base on the available train capacity along a travel sub-leg and our objective was to increase the performance of the intermodal line cargo train system. We adopted the yield management concept with rail freight customers given the possibility to change their start and/or end train stations (travel sub-leg) and/or to change their departure day in an intermodal line cargo train system. Using our developed simulation tool, we have examined the performance of an intermodal line cargo train system with respect to the dynamic and constant pricing strategy. Our prime objective was to investigate and answer the questions which pricing strategy leads to the best space utilization and performance of an intermodal line train cargo system? Our simulation results show that the dynamic pricing gives the best space utilization and rail freight performance. Dynamic pricing strategy appears good to both the train operators, in term of the revenue generated, and the freight transporters as they achieved reduced transport cost and freights accommodation at train stations different from their closest train stations.
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