World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research (11 papers in press)
Intermodal Transportation of Modular Structure Units
by Zhiyuan Liu, Ziyuan Gu, Yu Bai, Ning Zhong
Abstract: With the rapid development of international cooperation in the construction industry, modular construction has been widely promoted in recent years especially for apartments, social housing and schools. This paper aims to address the intermodal transportation plan for modular structure units (MSUs). An overview of MSUs is provided followed by a discussion on different transportation modes. To prevent damages to modules, containers are typically used for maritime shipping. Comparative results show that the 12.1 m (40 ft) hi-cube container is most suited for transporting MSUs. With containerization, an optimal urban transportation plan is proposed consisting of four major steps: identifying the feasible transportation network, establishing the transport cost function, solving the K-shortest paths problem, and assigning MSUs using the logit model.
Keywords: modular construction; logistics; container transportation; intermodal transportation; op-timal transportation plan.
Drivers and Barriers of Reshoring in the Swedish Manufacturing Industry
by Gabriella Engstrom, Per Hilletofth, David Eriksson, Kristina Sollander
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore reshoring drivers and barriers in the Swedish manufacturing industry. The research is based on case research including five case companies from the Swedish manufacturing industry with experience of manufacturing reshoring. The empirical findings are compared to the existing literature to identify any potential gaps between the existing literature and the Swedish manufacturing context. The findings suggest that quality related issues, an increased degree of automation, and improved cost performance at the home base are the strongest reshoring drivers for Swedish manufacturing companies. The identified drivers and barriers are transferable and have the potential to be building blocks for researchers and practitioners to better understand the reshoring phenomena. The findings also show that further research should focus on reshoring drivers and barriers in relation to specific reshoring characteristics (e.g., ownership, scale of production being reshored, and position in the supply chain).
Keywords: Reshoring; Insourcing; Offshoring; Outsourcing; Supply Chain; Sweden.
Mitigating the break-of-gauge problem in international transportation corridors
by Yulia Panova, Per Hilletofth, Julia Krasinskaya
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate technologies for mitigating the break-of-gauge problem at the border crossing points in international transportation corridors. This issue has been examined through a literature review. The research revealed three technologies for mitigating the break-of-gauge problem, including transshipment operations, removable coach bogies, and variable bogie axles. The medium-term solution would be more rapid transshipment operations in the railway container terminals while the long-term solution would be adjustable bogie axles. This could reduce lead-time and improve the overall productivity and competitiveness of international corridors and in turn lead to reduced logistics costs for companies using this transportation alternative.
Keywords: Transportation corridor; border crossing point; inland terminal; break-of-gauge.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF SPECIALISED AND TRANSPORT FACILITIES IN THE LOGISTICS INFRASTRUCTURE OF MEXICO 2013-2018
by Adriana Rodriguez Rojas
Abstract: Considering that, Mexico obtained the best score in geographical aspects, from a geo-strategic comparative study between Mexico and Panama, the next step is to identify if the country has a strengthened or weak infrastructure in terms of transport and logistics, necessary to improve competitiveness with respect to the indices that measure the performance of transport and logistics throughout the world. That is why, the objective of this work is to identify, through the SWOT matrix, the positive and negative aspects of the nation's transportation and logistics infrastructure and, using the confrontation matrix, to know the critical aspects that require design of strategies that will contribute to the improvement of the country's competitiveness. The results show that although Mexico has logistics and transport infrastructure around the country (including development and construction projects in the sector), its biggest disadvantage is the saturation concentrated in the central region, evidencing a low development of logistics infrastructure and transport in the northern and southern regions of the nation. Finally, improvement strategies for the equitable distribution of logistics facilities by region, according to their specialty, are proposed.
Keywords: SWOT; Transport Infrastructure; Specialized Logistics Infrastructure.
Reliability Analysis and Growth Curves Modelling of Fielded Road Systems
by Kong Fah Tee, Ejiroghene Ekpiwhre
Abstract: The instantaneous and cumulative effect of failure rate for repairable fielded systems depletes the reliability of road network systems. This paper bridges the rationale and statistical techniques employed in the reliability analysis and growth curve modelling for application to road assets with defects/failure events obtained from fielded systems. Real-time user operational data is analysed to enable preventive and predictive maintenance insight be adapted from its growth trends and curves. Samples from carriageway fielded population are analysed, and models are developed using statistical assessment of goodness of fit for Poisson, right censored parametric distribution analysis and parametric growth trend. The reliability behaviour of the samples is evaluated using reliability estimates of its Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) for instantaneous failure time of event and Mean Time between Failure (MTBF) for cumulative times of events. The growth trend and parametric growth curves of the homogeneous Poisson process (HPP) and Non-Homogeneous Poisson process (NHPP) power law are presented using Maximum Likelihood and Least Square estimation as well as the Mean Cumulative Function (MCF) of failure time of events.
Keywords: Reliability Analysis; Road Systems; Mean Time Between Failure; Homogeneous Poisson Process.
Bilateral connectivity in the liner shipping network: An overview
by Iñigo L. Ansorena
Abstract: A general picture of the global shipping network is presented. The maritime network connects countries (nodes) with regular liner services (edges) all around the world. The weight factor of connections is the Liner Shipping Bilateral Connectivity Index (LSBCI). The LSBCI is a composite index developed by UNCTAD which reflects maritime connectivity between pairs of nations all around the globe. The first goal of the study is to determine the community structure of the network by means of modularity optimization. The structure clearly shows the main sea routes within the global network. The second goal is to extract more information from the strongest community by means of centrality metrics. The countries which achieved the best performance in the past decade are revealed.
Keywords: liner shipping; centrality metrics; modularity optimization; connectivity; communities; complex network.
Exploring causality between economic growth and air transport demand for Argentina and Uruguay
by Juan Gabriel Brida, Pablo Daniel Monterubbianesi, Sandra Zapata Aguirre
Abstract: This paper investigates the effects in the long term between air transportation and the economic growth in Uruguay and Argentina. Employing annual data from 1970 to 2011, the study uses cointegration analysis to consider the existence of a long run relation between real GDP and the number of air passengers in each country. Results show that for both considered countries, the series are cointegrated, and it is possible to estimate an Error Correction Model (ECM). The Granger Causality test shows that causality goes unidirectionally from GDP to air-transport for both countries. The elasticity and impulse- response function analysis shows that the effect of a GDP shock on the number of passengers is higher in Uruguay than in Argentina, which is consistent with the characteristics of the air market and the geographical conditions of each country. The results suggest different policy and planning implications.
Keywords: economic growth; air transport; cointegration; Granger causality; Argentina; Uruguay.
EVALUATION OF A NOVEL LOGISTICS SOLUTION FOR ROUNDWOOD IMPORT
by Ekku Heljanko, Olli-Pekka Hilmola, Andres Tolli
Abstract: Investment analysis on a logistics concept for timber transportation in South-Eastern Finland is presented. Concept utilizes longer freight train units, efficient terminal operations and multimodality based on High-Capacity Transport (HCT) trucks. This is compared to a current state of shorter direct train transportation to factories. Primary interest is on Russian birch wood import (used in pulp manufacturing). Analysis reveals that the modeled logistics concept is feasible. Taking the time-value of money into account, in the long-term this alternative method has lower overall costs compared to the current one. Possibility for intermodal container backhauling provides potential for synergy benefits. Synergies could also be accessed from the joint use of terminal by number of near-by factories. Although investment seems to be profitable, sensitivity analysis on the most crucial parameters should draw attention. Different factors should be analyzed further with advanced simulation tools such as illustrated using Vensim and Forio Simulate.
Keywords: wood transports; railways; road; terminal; investment appraisal; simulation.
Manufacturing relocation abroad and back: empirical evidence from the Nordic countries
by Jussi Heikkila, Sanna Nenonen, Jan Olhager, Jan Stentoft
Abstract: Businesses have increasingly engaged in various forms of cross-border transfers of activities. Much production, knowledge and work has been moved offshore from developed economies to achieve better competitiveness. However, recent research has begun to report about an opposite movement, i.e. backshoring of business activities. This research paper reports empirical survey results exploring and explaining manufacturing relocation from and to three Nordic countries. The purpose was to investigate manufacturing firms practices of pursuing different manufacturing globalisation strategies in terms of why, what types of companies, and where questions, and in the context of manufacturing relocation activities originating from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Both offshoring and backshoring of manufacturing are also analysed from the perspective of changes in ownership, i.e. the extent to which outsourcing or insourcing are related to manufacturing relocation.
Keywords: manufacturing; offshoring; outsourcing; backshoring; insourcing; reshoring; relocation; rightshoring; survey; Nordic countries.
Reshoring and Additive Manufacturing
by Hamid Moradlou, Wendy Tate
Abstract: Since the mid-20th century, offshoring of manufacturing facilities has gained significant popularity because of the opportunity for cost reduction. However, there is evidence that shows that offshoring strategies may not be beneficial for the organizations manufacturing activities and may increase the cost of ownership. There appears to be a tendency to reverse offshoring and begin reshoring manufacturing back to the country of origin. This paper focuses on the applicability of Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a supporting technology for increased reshoring to the United Kingdom (U.K.). This manuscript focuses on theory elaboration, bridging the new generation technologies to the reshoring movement in the U.K. This research identifies 6 potential areas where AM can have impacts on supply chain of reshoring companies to make them more responsive: shorter lead-time, responsiveness to the product and market changes, lower transportation costs, fewer miscommunications with the suppliers, more customization options, fewer products stored in inventory.
Keywords: Reshoring; Additive Manufacturing; Industry 4.0; Backshoring; Supply chain relocation.
Special Issue on: Supply Chain Relocation Studies from a Brazilian Perspective
Minimum-cost flow algorithms: a performance evaluation using the Brazilian road network
by Carolina Luísa Dos Santos Vieira, Mônica Maria Mendes Luna, Jovane Medina Azevedo
Abstract: In this paper, we evaluate the practical performance of four algorithms for solving the minimum-cost flow problem on road networks. While most computational testing has been based on artificially generated networks, for this study we used 215 real-world test instances, solved over the Brazilian road network. We verified that, differently from the literature, Network Simplex was the best performing algorithm in practice for this context, both in terms of speed and robustness. Features such as the number of supply and demand nodes influenced runtime, besides network topology and spatial syntax. On the other hand, the supplied volume and the ratio of supply/demand nodes were not good performance predictors. Our evaluation also showed that efficiency may be tied to algorithmic structure. The results should be particularly useful to support a choice of a MCF algorithm for evaluation of transportation networks, allowing to reduce the cost of processing analyses of flow allocation. In view of limited economical resources available to developing economies, the definition of investment priorities in infrastructure should be supported by proper methods.
Keywords: minimum-cost flow; experimental study; Brazilian road network; algorithms performance; network simplex.