Title: Modal choice in freight transport: combining multi-criteria decision analysis and geographic information systems

Authors: Cathy Macharis; Dries Meers; Tom Van Lier

Addresses: Department of BUTO, MOBI research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium ' Department of BUTO, MOBI research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium ' Department of BUTO, MOBI research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: To tackle the modal choice decision problem in container transport, a decision support model for comparing intermodal and unimodal road transport is developed, using a combined multi-criteria decision analysis - geographic information system approach. Multi-criteria decision analysis allows to simultaneously analyse many, possibly conflicting, modal choice criteria. First, a geographic information system-based model calculates the size or the score of the considered criteria, for each alternative route. Next, the multi-criteria decision analysis makes trade-offs among the relevant criteria and selects the most suitable transport option for a given transport. The model is tested for transport problems within Belgium, but can be applied to other cases. The comprehensive model can be used to make more consistent modal choice decisions to meet the specific preferences of users.

Keywords: intermodal transport; container transport; multicriteria decision analysis; MCDA; multicriteria decision making; MCDM; decision support systems; DSS; modal choice; analytical hierarchy process; AHP; PROMETHEE; geographic information systems; GIS; freight transport; transport options; Belgium.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCDM.2015.074087

International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making, 2015 Vol.5 No.4, pp.355 - 371

Received: 19 May 2014
Accepted: 17 Feb 2015

Published online: 08 Jan 2016 *

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