Main Issues In Combined Freight Transportation Engineering Essay

The chief issues in combined freight transit can be classified into six chief classs as shown in Figure 1. These classs include histrions and cardinal participants, operations, ordinances and policies, substructure, Information and Communication Technology, and environmental issues.

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Figure: Main classs of combined conveyance

Actors and cardinal participants could be categorized by the type of operator and the operational jobs. The assorted undertakings along the transit concatenation are largely executed by four operators that could be distinguished in drayage, terminus, web, and intermodal operator ( Moccia et al. , 2008 ) . The undermentioned subdivisions give some farther information about each of them.

Drayage Operator

Drayage operators are responsible for transporting the cargo between shippers and consignees severally and within the terminus ( Puettmann and Stadtler, 2010 ; Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004 ; Caris et al. , 2008 ) . Normally they are send oning companies that receive petitions for conveyance and make all the necessary agreements to transport the burden from its beginning to its finish.

Rail terminuss, port installations and shipper/third party installations comprise the drayage location. In each drayage location there are many independent drayage operators who compete with one another to supply drayage services utilizing their ain assets ( i.e. forces, tractors, dawdlers, human body and containers, whether borrowed, owned or rented ) or frequently sub-contracting with many independent owner-operators ( Nadan, 2003 ) .

The bulk of drayage operators are close ports. At the port there is a high volume of containers ‘ reachings. When a container arrives at the port, the latter can be delivered to its finish by train or truck. Some of those containers are transported by rail to nearby rail paces for long-haul bringing by train. But the bulk of the containers is hauled by short-haul truck, called drayage, and is less than 100 kilometres ( Robert and Poole, 2007 ) .

A drayage operator picks up an empty dawdler or container either at an empty terminal, at a terminus or at a consignee. Then the operator provides it to the shipper and the subsequent transit of a full dawdler or container to the terminus. Delivery operation involves the distribution of a full container or dawdler from the terminus to a consignee. Then it collects the empty container or dawdler and transports it to the terminus, an empty terminal, or the shipper. Trucks are able to divide the tractor and dawdler which allows two processs. In the “ stay-with ” process the tractor and the driver stay with the container/trailer during the loading/unloading. In the “ drop-and-pick ” process a full or empty trailer/container is dropped off the shipper/receiver. During loading/unloading continuance the tractor and driver are free to transport out other activities.

Each drayage company faces jobs such as trip programming between shipper, terminuss and receiving system ( Wang and Regan, 2002 ; Imai et al. , 2007 ) . This job could be enlarged from the terminus demands, client ‘s pick-up and bringing times, realistic bounds on the length of the on the job twenty-four hours, and on-road travel times. The bulk of the cargos normally are known in progress. Nevertheless, sometimes tonss have to be reassigned due to traffic or some terminuss ‘ holds.

But the general job of drayage operations is its cost effectivity. In malice of the comparatively short distance alternatively of long-haul rail or flatboat, drayage histories for 25-40 % ( Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004 ) of transit concatenation disbursals. As a effect it affects a batch the profitableness of the whole transit service. For work outing this job a drayage operator should make up one’s mind to collaborate with other drayage companies without impacting though the seasonableness of operations.

Terminal Operator

Terminal operator manages the modal displacement which take topographic points at the terminus and is responsible for the transshipment operations from flatboat to thrust ahead, route to inveigh or thrust ahead, or rail to inveigh ( Puettmann and Stadtler, 2010 ; Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004 ; Caris et al. , 2008 ) .

Normally a terminal consists of a route, rail, and flatboat gate where trucks, trains, or flatboats severally enter and leave the terminus. There is a storage country for hive awaying the tonss for more than a twenty-four hours and the buffer country ( cross-docking ) , which is for short continuance storage. There is besides storage and conveyance equipment and lifting equipment for lading or droping the trains, trucks, and flatboats.

Different operations have to be carried out for different types of burden units i.e. containers, swap-bodies, dawdlers or complete trucks. It is besides of import to advert that the operations are non the same for every manner of conveyance. In add-on, the equipment which is used has to be suited and cater to the demands of the burden units. Terminals can use different transshipments techniques, layouts, dimensions, operational schemes etc. An optimum operation terminus is the basic end for the terminus operator. That depends on the demand volume and the type of the exchange i.e. road-barge, road-rail, or rarely rail-rail or barge-barge or rail-barge.

Exchange increases the entire conveyance cost and the lead clip in concatenation. Consequently, exchange operations need to be efficient and fast. Terminal operators have to do strategic, tactical, or operational determinations to run into the demands. At strategic degree terminus operator takes attention of the design of the terminus ( Ferreira and Sigut, 1995 ; Meyer, 1998 ; Rizzoli et al. , 2002 ; Ballis and Golias, 2004 ; Bontekoning, 2006 ; Vis, 2006 ; Rijsenbrij and Wieschemann, 2011 ) . At the tactical degree terminus operators take determinations about the needed capacity degrees of equipment and labor ( Kemper and Fischer, 2000 ; Kozan, 2000 ; Kulick and Sawyer, 2001 ; Huynh 2005 ) and the redesign of the operational modus operandis and layout constructions ( Voges et al. , 1994 ; MartA±nez et al. , 2004 ) . Finally terminus operator has to make up one’s mind at operational degree for resource allotment ( John Hargreaves, 1990 ) and scheduling of occupations ( Alicke, 2002 ; Corry and Kozan, 2006 ; Gambardella et al. , 2001 ) .

Network Operator

Network operator takes attention of the substructure planning ( strategic degree ) and long-haul transit ( Puettmann and Stadtler, 2010 ) . He is responsible for the organisation of rail or flatboat conveyance ( Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004 ; Caris et al. , 2008 ) . At tactical degree has to take determinations about agendas of service and pricing services and about day-to-day operations of the services at operational degree.

Infrastructure determinations trade with the interconnectivity of the manners in order to accomplish combined conveyance ironss ( Crainic et al. , 1990 ; Loureiro, 1994 ; Southworth and Peterson, 2000 ; Klodzinski and Al-Deek, 2004 ; Tan et al. , 2004 ; Groothedde et al. , 2005 ; Parola and Sciomachen, 2005 ) and besides the location of terminuss ( Meinert et al. , 1998 ; Rutten, 1998 ; Arnold and Thomas, 1999 ; Groothedde and Tavasszy, 1999 ; Macharis and Verbeke, 1999 ; Van Duin and Van Ham, 2001 ; Arnold et al. , 2004 ; Macharis, 2004 ; Racunica and Wynter, 2005 ; Kapros et al. , 2005 ; Limbourg and Jourquin, 2008 ; Soerensen et al. , 2011 ) . In some states authorities normally take these determinations and considers for the impact of a capacity addition and the effects of price/cost additions or lessenings on the usage of the different substructure webs. On the other manus, private sector hunts for the optimum location of terminuss and the authorities supports the most interesting investings.

At tactical degree a web operator, foremost, has to find what sort of services itwill offer. Ithas to alter the attack of long draw conveyance services from travel on demand to a fix service agenda which has to be planned several months or a twelvemonth in progress. For accomplishing this end the operator has to make up one’s mind what consolidation web to utilize i.e. a point-to-point web, a line web, a hub-and-spoke web and a trunk-collection-and-distribution web ( Janic et al. , 1999 ; Newman and Yano, 2000a ; Newman and Yano, 2000b ) . A 2nd tactical determination for a web operator is the type of production theoretical account, that is, how to run the trains and the flatboats. This involves determinations about the frequence of service, train length, capacity planning of equipment and allotment of equipment to paths ( Nozick and Morlok, 1997 ; Choong et al. , 2002 ; Lin and Chen, 2004 ; Li and Tayur, 2005 ) . In add-on, pricing scheme determinations has to be considered at this degree. Pricing a combined conveyance merchandise is a truly complicated issue. It requires an accurate cost computation and penetration in the market state of affairs as many histrions are related to the assorted parts of the combined conveyance concatenation ( Tsai et al. , 1994 ; Yan et al. , 1995 ; Li and Tayur, 2005 ) .

Finally, at the operational degree, web operator has to take daily direction determinations. Mostly it has to pull off the fleet as the burden order of the flatboats and trains ( Feo and Gonzalez-Velarde, 1995 ; Powell and Carvalho, 1998 ) , redistribution of railway cars or push flatboats ( Chih and new wave Dyke, 1987 ; Chih et al. , 1990 ) , and the burden units. A typical job in combined road/rail conveyance is the assignment of a set of dawdlers and containers to the available flatbeds that can travel this equipment. This job is rather complex as there are different types of flatbeds, and many types of dawdlers and containers.

Intermodal Operator

Intermodal operators are users of the intermodal substructure and services, and carry on the optimum path choice of cargos through the whole intermodal web ( Puettmann and Stadtler, 2010 ; Macharis and Bontekoning, 2004 ; Caris et al. , 2008 ) .

Intermodal operators organize the transit of cargos on behalf of shippers. Intermodal operators buy the services offered by drayage, web, and terminal operators. At the operational degree they choose paths and services in bing intermodal webs ( Min, 1991 ; Barnhart and Ratliff, 1993 ; Boardman et al. , 1997 ; Ziliaskopoulos and Wardell, 2000 ; Erera et al. , 2005 ) . Taking such a determination is more complex than routing jobs of route draw. In route draw least dearly-won or less clip devouring path is more preferred. But in combined conveyance there is a big assortment of combinations of transit manners. So a average pick job has to take into history specific cargo volumes and specific clip restraints.

Regulations & A ; Policies

The current policy of the European Commission requires that conveyance systems should be able to turn without serious negative impact on the environment, every bit good as on economic and societal costs. However, the sustainability of the European conveyance system faces some barriers such as: mutual exclusiveness of substructure, turning CO2 emanations from conveyance, dependance on fossil fuels, altering forms in mobility, low safety, lifting congestions, and charges and monetary values deformations ( REFERENCE ) .

Incompatible substructure

Europe consists of many states and as a consequence, the bulk of the bing substructure has been designed to function national instead than European economic system. This state of affairs created deficiency of comprehensive criterions on substructure design, traffic direction, power supplies and informations exchange. Since now more than 400 billion euros have been spent for developing Trans-European conveyance webs ( TEN-T ) ( REFERENCE ) . But still there are chief deficits in substructure as transalpine tunnels, rail corridors, intermodal nodes for rail and sea or air conveyance, and IT substructure to back up intermodal conveyance. Poor Trans-Europe substructure in combination with deficiency of international cooperation consequences to the undermentioned inefficiencies ( Impact Assessment, 2010 ) : Lack of joint traffic prognosiss taking to differing investing programs ;

Disconnected or even contradictory timelines ;

Lack of joint investings computation and joint fiscal constructions ;

Incompatible proficient features ;

Inadequate joint direction of cross-border substructure undertakings.

For sustainable substructure programs there are some actions to be taken. The list below shows some of them.

Joined investings programs

Coordinated land planning

Further development of TEN-T web

Open criterions for information exchange systems

Open criterions for design of substructure

Turning Greenhouse Gas emanations

Transport sector has greatly increased its activity for the last twosome decennaries now. The growing rate of GHG emanations in conveyance is higher than any other sector comparing to 1990. Harmonizing to the information of European Environment Agency in twelvemonth 2010, conveyance is accounted for 19.7 % of entire GHG emanations in EU-27, as it is shown in Figure 2.This growing of conveyance activities concerns for its environmental sustainability. The energy efficiency is increasing but the gait of betterments is non sufficient to make sustainable conveyance in Europe.

Figure: GHG emanations by sector ( Source: EU statistical pocketbook 2012 )

The EU White Paper on Transport, ( 2011 ) refers that European committee has set specific ends. The first end of new conveyance policy is to maintain the conveyance turning and support mobility while accomplishing the end of 60 % GHG emanations decrease by 2050 comparing to 1990 degree. In order to accomplish this end the European Commission has defined ten ends for a competitory and resource efficient conveyance system which benchmarks for accomplishing the 60 % GHG emanation decrease mark ( see extensively in White Paper, 2011, pp. 9-11 ) .

In general, actions that should be taken towards the rejuvenation of cargo conveyance are as follows: bing engineerings have to be replaced by green engineerings ; use of electric autos is preferred, phasing out “ conventionally-fueled ” vehicles from urban countries ; decrease of C in maritime and air power conveyance.

Dependence on fossil fuels

Conveyance is still 97 % dependant on fossil fuels ( REFERENCE ) . Since now Transport has non reduced significantly its GHG strength by exchanging to cleaner energy beginnings. European Union has adopted a adhering mark of a 10 % portion of renewable energy beginnings in conveyance by 2020 ( Directive, 2009 ) as portion of the clime alteration and energy bundle.

Switching to greener vehicles will necessitate the development of alternate fuelling/charging substructure. Another of import action is concentrating on research in cost-efficient renewable fuels. The new green engineerings for green vehicles are important, so there is a demand for shorter design-to-market rhythms.

Low safety

One of the objects included in the EU White Paper ( 2001 ) , was to halve casualties in route conveyance by 2010. This end has non been achieved although different actions had been taken in many Member States. In air power sector was implemented a set of common, unvarying and compulsory statute law covering all the cardinal safety elements: airdrome care, airdrome direction, operations of air traffic direction systems. The most advanced regulative models for safety and pollution bar was established by EU in maritime sector.

Another job is that European conveyance corridors are common for cargo and rider conveyance. This has caused many accidents with a consequence of over 40000 accident human deaths until 2000 ( White Paper, 2001 ) . For cut downing the sum of human deaths, EU has to take some steps i.e. dividing lading and rider corridors. Signing systems has besides to be improved and new vehicles safety systems to be implemented.

Rising congestion

Road conveyance is the chief manner for goods motion. Harmonizing to the European Commission the portion of route conveyance is 73 % , somewhat decreased by 3.9 % from 2009 ( Road Freight Transport Vademecum, 2010 ) . At the same clip the portion of rail is merely 17 % with inland waterways and oil grapevines accounting for 5 % each ( Road Freight Transport Vademecum, 2009 ) .The congestion in urban countries and on the cardinal theodolite roads works as a barrier for the current capacity of conveyance webs run intoing the turning demand. The dependability of route conveyance suffers and the clip length of journeys is acquiring longer. Besides some airdromes are really engorged. For work outing this job, European Commission published the 2001 White Paper on European Conveyance Policy. The thought was to cut down that congestion by switching from route onto rail, waterways or short-sea transportation. In add-on, great accent is given on the usage of intermodal conveyance.

Furthermore, harmonizing to the EU statistical pocketbook ( 2012 ) , route conveyance is the less environment friendly mode as it causes 71.7 % of entire GHG emanations. For that ground route conveyance has to go greener and more efficient excessively. New vehicle engineerings, better substructure, fuel efficiency and “ eco-driving ” are needed. There is a demand of assisting solution for take downing the congestion by intelligent mobility and conveyance demand direction. There is still a deficiency of concerted systems based on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure-communications that might in the longer term better well the efficiency of the traffic direction and relieve congestion ( Golinska and Hajdul, 2012 ) .

In order to avoid addition in aviation congestion high-velocity rail should absorb much medium distance traffic. Another action is to increase the denseness of rail webs and make efficient and green cargo corridors. There is besides a demand for development of intermodal hubs and intermodal integrating of conveyance services.

Mobility forms

The advancement in traveling traffic from route conveyance to other manners is still really limited. European Commission has tried a batch to convert companies to alter their organisation of logistics procedures and take into history when be aftering the impact of environment and society, but the consequences were negative. Entrepreneurs largely concern about the fiscal consequences and if there is non a strong statement of betterment, they are non interested in utilizing options to route conveyance manners.

Therefore, it is deserving to observe that the pick of manners of conveyance straight affects some factors such as monetary value, the susceptibleness of the lading and the features of conveyance manners. Furthermore, sometime is impossible to utilize rail, inland waterway or intermodal conveyance.

For work outing the above jobs, there is a demand for incorporate logistics systems which should be monitored enabling the co-modality, standardisation and interoperability across manners. Furthermore, a platform has to be created for linking the airdromes and ports with efficient rail services. Another action is the constitution of the model for European multimodal conveyance information, direction and payment system attractive frequences and comfort. Smart intermodal fining, with common EU criterions is another solution ( Golinska and Hajdul, 2012 ) .

Monetary values and revenue enhancements deformations

The distinction of monetary values for the usage of route in extremum and off-peak hours is really rarely. There is besides deficiency of inducements for use of more soundless vehicles, safer and more environment friendly manners of conveyance. Furthermore the congestion charges, which represent the cost of substructure scarceness, are non frequently imposed.

On the other manus, conveyance system generates grosss for public budget including:

Energy revenue enhancements ( 1.9 % of GDP ) coming from fuel revenue enhancements on route conveyance and private autos ( Eurostat, 2008 ) ;

Vehicle revenue enhancements ( 0.6 % of GDP ) ;

Tolls and charges for substructure usage.

Although users pay a important sum, the monetary value frequently bears small connexion to the existent costs of conveyance in society. The rule “ defiler wages ” is non ever respected. The costs imposed on conveyance users do non reflect disbursals to keep and develop the substructure. Furthermore, the pricing system fails to maneuver the demand for most efficient and sustainable mobility picks.

Therefore monetary values and revenue enhancements should be connected with sustainability. Local authoritiess have to self-finance the development and care of substructure giving besides incentives for local companies for use of intermodal conveyance. They besides have to follow purely the rules of “ user wages ” and “ defiler wages ” and extinguish the harmful subsidies. In add-on there is a demand of a regulative model and advanced fiscal instruments for unlocking the potency of private sector in co-financing substructure ‘s deployment and cares within public-private partnership ( PPP ) undertakings.


Transport substructure is a cardinal component for the economic growing and development and it plays a cardinal function to increase the growing and occupations in Europe. An efficient substructure which warrants handiness could pull centres of production and ingestion and therefore impacts positively on the regional economic system. More efficient substructures enable a better mobility for people and goods every bit good as a better connexion between parts.

In add-on, planning, design and building of substructures have remained mostly unchanged over the last century ; therefore attending has to set besides on the research of new building stuffs processes with the purpose to introduce the sector. Research has to be concentrated on processs and stuffs that minimize nursery gas emanations, on design and planning that respect landscape and geographical diverseness whilst lending to decongestion major conveyance corridors, and on techniques that will guarantee longer life and reduces care intercessions.

Road substructure

European Union has made great attempts to advance multimodality but route conveyance has still a turning tendency. For this ground there is an immediate necessity to increase route capacity and efficiency. Roads must be able to absorb the ongoing and increasing flow of vehicles and guarantee at the same clip an equal degree of safety. Such public presentations must be developed in largest portion on bing webs. Therefore non merely new building methods, but besides sustainable care of the bing web is paramount.

Care of route substructure deserves a particular attending for two chief grounds. First, many accidents ( e.g. rollovers of HV or skidding of vehicles in general ) have caused due to the hapless status of route substructure. Second, care plants hinder and disrupt the bringing ‘s free flow therefore increasing their costs. For avoiding these two scenarios, more effectual and lasting care techniques are needed i.e. safe and efficient night-time operations. Furthermore, there is a demand for more fluid traffic flow to cut down vehicles emanations, as transit sectors accounts the biggest per centum of CO2 emanations ( Laura, V, 2008 ) .

Some of the most of import roads are included in the Trans-European route web. It includes more than 65.100 kilometer expresswaies and 5.000.000 kilometers paved roads ( Steer Davies Gleave, 2009 ) , whether bing, new or to be adapted which:

Play an of import function in long-distance traffic

Bypass the chief urban centres on the routed identified by the web

Provide interconnectedness with other manners of conveyance

Link landlocked and peripheral parts of the Union

Beyond these, this web guarantees users a high, unvarying and uninterrupted degree of services, comfort and safety ( Bergmans, L, 2009 ) .

Sea and river ports

Harmonizing to ( CIA, 2011 ) in European Union there are 24 oversea ports. The most of import one is the Port of Rotterdam which is the largest one and located in the metropolis of Rotterdam. Such havens can function at their quayside deep-sea vass with a loading capacity of more than 8.000 container units ( TEU ) . Smaller regional ports are linked with the oversea ports by Feeder vass which have capacity up to 1.200 TEU. Inland flatboats are used to transport containers into the backwoods on rivers and channels and they are besides served by Cranes.

Ports can be divided into two subdivisions: riders and lading. The latter one normally offers terminal installations. Such terminuss consist of two external interfaces. These interfaces are the quayside with burden and unloading of ships, and the landside where the containers are loaded and unloaded on/off trucks and trains. When a container vas arrives at the port, it is assigned to a position equipped with Cranes to lade and unload containers. At the instance of RoRo vass, trucks with their lading issue from the inclines. Unloaded import containers are transported to yard places near to put where they will be transshipped following. Containers geting by railroad or route are managing within the truck and train operation country ( Steenken et al. , 2004 ) .

Seaport terminal.jpg

Figure: Container terminus system ( Beginning: Steeken et al. , 2004 )

At every port terminus there is managing equipment such as Cranes, conveyance agencies and helping systems. The quay Cranes for lading and droping ships play a polar function. There are two types of quay Cranes: single-trolley Cranes and dual-trolley Cranes. Crane drivers are supported by a semi-automatic guidance system. These Cranes can function around 50 boxes per hr, while in operation the public presentation is about 25 boxes per hr. A 2nd class of Cranes is applied to tonss. There are either rail mounted gauntry Cranes ( RMG ) which are more stable, or rubber tired gauntries ( RTG ) which are more flexible, and over-head span Cranes which are mounted on concrete or tip pillars.

At port terminuss there is besides a assortment of vehicles for the horizontal transit both for the ship-to-shore transit and the landside operation. The first category of vehicles is these which are non able to raise containers i.e. trucks with dawdlers, multi- dawdlers and automatic guided ( AGV ) ( Vis and Harika, 2004, Yang et al. , 2004 ) . Transport vehicles of the 2nd category are those which are able to raise containers i.e. Straddle bearers, forklifts, and range stackers. The first 1 is the most of import because it can besides stack containers in the pace.

Last but non least are the helping systems which help for the organisation and optimisation of the work flow. Such systems are communication systems and positioning systems. Terminal operators support a really frequent communicating with external parties like agents, transporting lines, truck and rail companies, forwarders, governmental governments like imposts, waterway constabulary and others. The communicating is based on international criterions ( EDIFACT ) and every alteration of lading position is communicated between the several parties ( Steeken et al. , 2004 ) .

Rail substructure

Harmonizing to ( Steer Davies Gleave, 2009 ) in TEN-T web there are more than 212.000 kilometer of rail lines, out of which about 110.500 kilometers are electrified and the cargo conveyance trains could make a length up to 750 m. There are besides many road-rail container terminuss which support this web. Such terminuss include:

Gates, internal route web,

Loading and driving lanes for the trucks,

Storage or buffer lanes for IntermodalTransportUnits,

Transshipment paths ( besides called as burden paths ) for the train loading/unloading operations, and

Rail turnouts for train/wagon storage, marshalling and review

The equipment which seems to rule among conventional equipment is reach stackers and rail-borne gauntry Cranes. On little terminuss reach stacker is the major mean for raising, managing, transporting, and stacking ITUs. This is due to the low cost and flexibleness that offers ( Ballis and Golias, 2001 ) .

Unlike rider terminuss, rail cargo paces do non hold to be so centrally located because of the great trade of infinite for multiple paths for marshaling. Rail paces, could pull fabricating activities able to utilize distribution capablenesss of rail, and therefore go industrial zones. In add-on, rail cargo terminuss perform four major maps ( Rodrigue et al, 2009 ) :

Majority: These rail terminuss are linked with extractive industries such as agribusiness, excavation and wood merchandises. Grain lifts are normally used to hive away, blend, and burden grain into railway cars.

Roll on/ Roll off: Vehicles are rolled in a railway car utilizing a incline. This operation requires a big sum of parking vehicles.

Intermodal: The map of burden and droping unitized cargo from railway cars demands specific intermodal equipment.

Shunting: The map of piecing, screening and breakage of cargo trains. Trains can be composed of up to about 100 railway cars.

The major job of cargo conveyance in European Union are the obstructions its faces on cross-border traffic. For case, the most dramatic grounds of such barriers is different path gages, electricity supply and the signaling systems. The deployment of ERTMS, the European signaling system, is come oning easy ; so far, merely discontinued subdivisions of lines are equipped, and engines still need to be to boot equipped with national systems. Furthermore, the length of trains is non harmonized across Europe. Another job is the deficiency of efficient and effectual intermodal terminuss, different service degrees across manners, deficiency of criterions, and losing substructure links, particularly across boundary lines ( Impact Assessment, 2010 ) .

Freight Village

In international bibliography, the term “ nodal centre ” or “ freight nodal terminus ” is encountered with assorted names: “ Cargo Villages ” ( United Kingdom ) , “ Platformes Multimodales/Logistiques ” ( France ) , “ Logistics Park, Interporto ” ( Italy ) , “ Gueterverkehrszentren ” ( Germany ) ( Tsamboulas and Dimitropoulos, 1999 ) . The first cargo small towns were created in France around 1960 and subsequently appeared besides in Italy and Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom ( Kapros et. al. , 2005 ) . A freight small town is the hub of a specific country where all the activities associating to transport, logistics and goods distribution – both for national and international theodolite – are carried out, on a commercial footing, by assorted operators ( Ballis and Mavrotas, 2007, Pal otas, and Bazaras, 2004, Afandizadeh and Moayedfar, 2007 ) .

It is noted that “ intermodal ” or “ multimodal ” terminuss constitute a chief constituent of nodal centres for goods where the transshipment of goods from one manner to the other takes topographic point. However, freight small towns reflect to a modern manner of forming logistics, conveyance and goods distribution activities. Normally provides subsidiary installations such as warehouses, distribution centres, storage countries, offices, truck services, bank, postal, insurance services and in certain instances Customs substructures ( Europlatforms, 2004 ) . In add-on, a cargo small town located in the locality of a big metropolis may supply an efficient solution to urban conveyance jobs including traffic congestion, regional competiveness, and quality of life.

The cost of land acquisition and cargo small town buildings every bit good as with distribution systems and operations of storage is high plenty. For this ground, such an investing has to take attention of all related facets that include site location choice, site-level layout planning and warehouse design facets.

Warehouse and cross-docking countries

Cross-docking services are chiefly used by many companies in different industries ( e.g. retail houses and less-than-truckload ( LTL ) logistics suppliers ) . The thought behind cross-docking is to reassign incoming cargos straight to surpassing vehicles without the procedure of storage between these two operations. The end of this service is to consolidate the cargos, to cut down the bringing lead clip and costs, etc. The function of cross-docking in industry even seems to increase ( Boysen and Fliender, 2010, Apte and Viswanathan, 2000, Saddle Creek Corp. , 2011 ) .

Cross-docking can be describes as the procedure of consolidating cargo with the same finish ( but coming from several beginnings ) , with minimum handling and small or no storage between droping and burden of the goods ( Belle et al. , 2012 ) . The focal point on cross-docking services is now on the transshipping, non keeping cost. On the other manus, warehousing includes four major maps: receiving, hive awaying, picking, despatching. Storage and picking are the normally the most dearly-won. Storage is expensive due to the stock list handling costs and picking due to labour intensive. Goods can be stored for several yearss or even hebdomads, alternatively of approximately 24h as many writers say in cross-docking ( Bartholdi and Gue, 2004, Li et al. , 2004, Vahdani and Zandieh, 2010, Wen et al. , 2009 ) . But many organisations use a mixture of warehousing and cross-docking to unite the benefits of both attacks.

A terminus which its chief installations are for cross-docking is called cross-dock. Most cross-docks are long, narrow rectangles ( I-shape ) , but other forms are besides used ( L, T, X, aˆ¦ ) ( Bartholdi and Gue, 2004 ) . There is no particular substructure to present cargo, a ‘strip door ‘ where the cargo is unloaded, and a ‘stack door ‘ where the cargo is loaded on the outbound trucks.

The advantages of a cross-dock ( Belle et al. , 2012 ) are the undermentioned:

Cost decrease ( warehousing costs, stock list costs, managing costs, labour costs, transit costs ) ;

Shorter bringing lead clip ( from provider to consignee ) ;

Improved client service ;

Faster stock list turnover ;

Decrease of storage infinite ;

Fewer overstocks ;

Reduced hazard for loss and harm ;

Consolidation cargos ;

Improved resource use ( e.g. full truckloads ) ;

Better lucifer between shipment measures and existent demand.

The advantages make cross-docking an interesting logistic scheme that can give companies considerable competitory advantages.


Transport contributes significantly to general economic development. However, conveyance has negative influences on wellness and the environment, notably through air pollution, route traffic hurts, traffic noise, psychological and societal impacts, land usage and possibilities for physical activity ( WHO, 1999 ) . Harmonizing to ( UNECE/WHO Europe, 2004 ) , policy has besides focused on the function of conveyance on clime alteration.

Air pollution

The conveyance sector contributes about 25 per cent of the air pollution burden, most of it from vehicles. Air pollution is responsible for many symptoms and diseases. It leads to increased mortality ( premature deceases ) , increased admittances to hospital for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, increased frequence of respiratory symptoms and usage of medicine by people with asthma, and reduced lung map ( WHO Europe, 1995 ) . It besides reduces life anticipation.

Ozone ( O3 ) , airborne particulate affair ( PM ) and lead ( Pb ) are the transport-related pollutants that pose most concerns, but sulfur dioxide ( SO2 ) , nitrogen dioxide ( NO2 ) , C monoxide ( CO ) , lead scavengers and assorted carcinogens are besides noteworthy.

In EU states life anticipation is estimated that it is shortened by 8.6 months by air pollution ( UNECE/WHO Europe, 2009 ) and at 2000 about 350,000 lives lost due to exposure to air pollution ( WHO Europe, 2005 ) . WHO has set an air-quality guideline degree at 20 I?g/m3. However, harmonizing to ( ENHIS, 2007 ) exposure degrees to PM10 ( Particulate affairs with diameter less than 10 I?g ) varied from 13 to 14 I?g/m3 ( Finland, Ireland ) to 53 to 56 I?g/m3 ( Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia ) . The study of ( ENHIS, 2007 ) besides summarized that 89 % of people in European part are exposed to more than the WHO ‘s bound and around 14 % of population exceeds the EU bound value of 40 I?g/m3.


WHO guidelines limit noise degrees for residential countries to 55 dubnium ( A ) during the twenty-four hours and to 45 dubnium ( A ) during the dark ( WHO, 1999 ) . Conveyance is the most of import beginning of community noise across Europe. Approximately 30 % of the EU-15 population is exposed to degrees of route traffic noise of more than 55 dubnium ( A ) . In general, the WHO guidelines for noise are frequently exceeded in South East Europe on route with high traffic tonss ( UNECE/WHO Europe, 2009 ) . But noise is emanating non merely from the motion of conveyance vehicles but besides from the operations of ports, airdrome and rail paces.

Break of communicating, damage of hearing, and bad sleep quality can be effects of noise. Continuous noise above 30 dubnium ( A ) and indoor noise above of 45dB ( A ) can impact sleep quality, cause weariness and reduced public presentation. Prolonged or inordinate exposure to resound ( e.g. 65-70 dubnium ( A ) ) can do lasting medical conditions such as high blood pressure ( Berglund et al. , 1999 ) .

European Commission aims are to guarantee a high degree of wellness and environmental protection and at the same time to safeguard internal market for motor vehicles. To accomplish this Commission ‘s proposal foresees a entire decrease of 4 dubnium ( A ) for light vehicles and 3 dubnium ( A ) for heavy vehicles ( European Commission, 2011 ) . This measure will be introduced from 1 January 2015.

Energy usage

Motorized conveyance depends on fossil fuels, e.g. oil merchandises, which account for more than 98 % of the conveyance sector ‘s energy ingestion. Alternatively of fossil fuels, there are besides other prevailing options, such as biogas, H, electricity, and intercrossed vehicles. However, there is besides a strong trust on fossil fuels. As a consequence, GHG emanations from conveyance are closely tied to transport demand ( BRRT, 2007c, Woodcock et al. , 2007 ) .

Since the terminal of 1990s, energy ingestion has been increasing across Europe. Coal is more competitory than the high gas monetary values. This tendency may go on if no extra policies and steps are implemented ( BRRT, 2007d ) . The ratio of addition from 1990-2000 is 2 % which is equal to 365 Mtoe ( million dozenss oil equivalent ) in 2000 ( some 35 % of all energy usage ) . As a effect, the more energy is consumed the more CO2 emanations from conveyance are produced. In add-on, energy ingestion per capita for conveyance is 2 or 4 times higher in Western Europe than in the other European parts ( UNECE/WHO Europe, 2009 ) .

Harmonizing to International Energy Agency, conveyance sector consumed 42 % of the oil in 1973 and this portion climbed to 61.5 % in 2010. But in recent old ages oil monetary values have increased and this crated the demand to utilize more energy efficient manners. The two most energy efficient manners for freight transit are rail and maritime conveyance. Inland waterways besides provide an energy efficient method for transporting ladings. For illustration, a tow boat traveling a typical burden of 15 flatboats is tantamount to 225 railway cars or 870 truckloads ( Rodrigue et al, 2009 ) .

Furthermore, oil militias are shriveling, costs of crude oil are increasing and the demand to cut down emanations of harmful pollutants is now more imperative. For this ground, the solution of alternate fuels in the signifier of non-crude oil resources is needed. The most prevailing options being consider are:

Biogas such as ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol and biodiesel can be produced from the agitation of nutrient harvests ( sugar cane, maize, cereals, etc. ) or wood-waste.

Hydrogen which is produced by electrolysis of H2O or by pull outing it from hydrocarbon

Electricity which is stored in a pure battery

Hybrid vehicles dwelling of propulsion system utilizing an internal burning engine supplemented by an electric motor and batteries, which provides chances uniting the efficiency of electricity with the long drive scope of an internal burning engine.

Monetary value of oil will surely go on to increase, as there are serious restrictions of non-fossil fuels in the transit sector.

Climate alteration

Climate alteration is already impacting human wellness, by doing new hazards and force per unit areas such as nutrient deficits and hungriness, change of H2O resources and harm to physical substructure ( peculiarly by low-lying rise and utmost conditions events such as inundations, heat moving ridges etc. ) .

Harmonizing to UNECE C dioxide ( CO2 ) is non a pollutant but a nursery gas which contributes chiefly to planetary heating effects holding a prevailing portion of 55 % . ( OECD/ITF, 2008 ) and which is associated to climate alteration. As it is shown in Figure 12 conveyance sector ‘s portion of GHG emanations is about 30 % . Conventional engines besides produce other emanations such as methane ( CH4 ) , azotic oxide ( N2O ) , and ozone ( O3 ) which are besides responsible for the nursery phenomenon.