The Role of Data in Container Transportation


The Role of Data in Container Transportation

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Role of Data

The international 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. 

To address 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. 

In the 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. 

Advanced planning concepts, where multiple modes of transport are involved, tend to be more data intensive. However, the transportation industry is progressively recognizing the value of data as a strategic asset, not to be shared without compensation. Therefore, a proper understanding of what data is needed to enhance quality of planning is key. In some cases, a marginal improvement of data quality may already help create better prognostics and planning.

About the speaker
Prof. Rob Zuidwijk is professor of Global Supply Chains and Ports at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). The chair focuses on three topics: coordination for sustainable global supply chains, synchromodal transport networks (a flexible and integral deployment of different modes of transport on a network to better meet customer demand and sustainability objectives), and inter-organisational systems in logistics.

His work has been published in journals like California Management Review, Transportation Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Communications of the ACM, and Production and Operations Management. He has participated and coordinated funded research projects in the area of international logistics and container transport.

He teaches freight transport systems, intermodal transportation, international logistics and global supply chain management, and inter-organizational systems in logistics to BSc, MSc, and PhD students, and he is also involved in post-experience courses.

Professor Rob Zuidwijk makes a significant contribution to Smartport, a strong research community in port-related research for which RSM and EUR are one of the main stakeholders. He is also Captain of Science of the Topsector Logistics in the Netherlands.

Professor Zuidwijk received his PhD in Mathematics from Erasmus University and has held a one-year visiting position at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Watch the webinar recording