Prof. Rob Zuidwijk
Department of Technology and Operations Management
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Container transport: innovative practices meet academic discourse
transport of maritime containers employs multiple transport means, such as deep-sea
vessels and trucks, or alternatively river barges and train sets. The planning
and execution of combined transport operations is challenging, since resources
are to be orchestrated efficiently while delivery of service must be reliable.
these challenges, the port of Rotterdam and its hinterland have become a living
laboratory, where practitioners are performing pilot studies and academics develop
new methods to put innovative logistics concepts to the test.
presentation, I will discuss how Synchromodal transport solutions offer
mobility of freight instead of specific transport capacity. Containers that
need to be transported are matched with transport options in a dynamic way.
Practitioners have demonstrated the feasibility of the concept, while academics
have elaborated on various decision models in support of e.g. network design, capacity
planning, and routing. The living lab now progressively involves new modes of
transport, such as semi-automated trucks that dynamically form platoons where
consolidation is viable.
planning concepts where multiple modes of transport are involved are more data
intensive. I will also discuss how the transportation industry is progressively
recognizing the value of data as a strategic asset, and how this inspires the
development of new planning methods. Conversely, academics have been able to
feed their methods and insights back to practitioners. In this manner,
container transport connects innovative practices and academic discourse.