Promising results for Cargo Hitching in practice!

In his recently defended Master Thesis, OML student Tijs Jansen together with Binnenstadservice described the appropriateness of an integrated passenger- and freight transportation system. Tijs did this work within the Dinalog R&D project ’Cargo Hitching’.

The Cargo Hitching project aims to design and test integrated people and freight synchromodal transportation networks and the related coordination (4C), planning and scheduling policies to enaible efficient and reliable delivery of both persons and small- to medium-sized freight volumes1. The aim of this thesis is an efficient supply and in the same time maintaining accessibility towards the villages in the rural area in the Netherlands.

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For the chosen research area Millingen aan de Rijn, several techniques are applied to outline the current situation regarding passenger and freight flows. In addition, a calculation model is designed for matching supply and demand. Two scenarios (line buses and taxis) are examined for feasibility of integration. Calculations provides evidence that with current volumes and arrival times, both scenarios are operationally, economically, environmentally, and societally viable.

The findings of this research project are summarised as follows:

  • Current daily demand of 320 parcels can be delivered by both line buses and taxis towards the rural area of Nijmegen.
  • Public transport is currently far from optimal. Two scenarios are appropriate to integrate passengers and freight flows. Both line buses and taxis independently have ample capacity to accommodate upcoming e-commerce. Independently, both transport modes have capacity up to 750 parcels a day.
  • Around 250 euro per day is saved from the traditional system and is the margin in which the integrated system should work.
  • Approximately 400 kilometers per day is eliminated which not only reduce congestion, but also reduces CO2 emissions.
  • The integrated passenger- and freight transport system keep public transport viable to the rural area of Nijmegen. This is essential for specific populations groups. Furthermore, it avoids further isolation of rural areas.

The current situation regarding independent freight transport and public transport is analysed. To identify traffic flows, traffic monitoring has taken place at the main entrance road of Millingen aan de Rijn. Interviews with local businesses have been conducted to gain insight in the freight transport demand and to establish a general freight profile of Millingen aan de Rijn. Interviews with Parcel Delivery Service Providers have been conducted to gain insight in current movements, volumes, frequencies and other transport related aspects. To determine the volumes destined for Millingen aan de Rijn, not only traffic monitoring and interviews are conducted, also research has taken place into statistical data from Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor. Furthermore, public transport towards the rural area of Nijmegen consists of line buses and taxis. For both transport modes, utilizations have been measured during traffic monitoring days.

For the integration of passenger- and freight transport flows, a calculation model is de- signed for matching supply and demand. Parcel delivery service providers can arrive at the Logistic Service Center (LSC) in Nijmegen according a uniform distribution or an adjusted distribution. Line buses and taxis are included as hitching modes. Line buses arrive at the consolidation bus station according to their fixed time schedule and taxis arrive at the LSC according to the time planning based on probabilities. To compare calculation results, output parameters are: (i) number of undelivered parcels (one day delivery), (ii) inventory levels at the LSC, (iii) utilization levels for public transport, and (iv) average waiting times of parcels at the LSC.

Interested to know more? Contact me.

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