Multimodal Freight Transport Planning: a Toolbox Supporting Participants Collaboration
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This paper aims to analyse the planning of chemical transports shift from road to the more complex multimodal freight transport, and presents a toolbox developed to support the participants in the process. In literature the research problem of multimodal freight transport planning is analysed mainly from mathematical models’ perspective. There is a lack of studies focused on multimodal transport chain collaboration and the tools supporting it. Within the framework of research conducted during the ChemMultimodal „Promotion of Multimodal Transport in Chemical Logistics” project, within INTERREG Central Europe Programme, the research team identified challenges related to modal shifts in the chemical industry, and next developed the toolbox addressing these challenges and supporting participants’ collaboration on multimodal chemical freight transport planning. The toolbox embraces: (1) consulting services, (2) planning guidelines, (3) the Intermodal Links platform, which suggests intermodal connections between two points, and (4) a CO2 calculator. Conclusions from the first pilot tests showed the necessity of a complex approach to the process of modal shift planning. Transport managers testing the toolbox the most appreciated the consulting services, which include a marketing platform integrating chemical producers and distributors, logistics companies, carriers, terminal operators, rail network operators and others. This platform is used to share information on current transport patterns, existing potentials, and possible actions to establish and promote modal shift.
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