Module I - Efficient resource management in intermodal transportation

Module I - Efficient resource management in intermodal transportation deals with the problems faced by our industrial partner Industrie-Logistik-Linz GmbH & Co KG. In recent years, Karl F. Doerner's research group has focused speci fically on the development of metaheuristic and matheuristics for decision problems in (unimodal) transport, taking into consideration real-world characteristics and realistic constraints. This module will extend the group's broad expertise to intermodal transportation problems through research on the following topics.

Public transport in rural areas

The mobility data of the considered rural region show that the movement of people is asymmetric and concentrated to a few hours of the day in case of a regular working day, e.g., from the residential area to the industrial area in the morning and back in the evening. Besides those peak hours the demand is typically low. A modern transportation system for rural areas has to take these aspects into account and the traditional decomposition into line planning and timetabling should be reconsidered. Additionally, in public transport systems the trade-off between costs and service levels has to be kept in mind. Moreover, the solution approach can be extended by car pooling concepts, which in turn influences the line planning problem.

City Logistics problems with time-dependent travel times

In City Logistics, the main objective is to optimize the transport activities in urban areas, aiming at reducing the troubles related to freight transportation while also supporting the economic development of the cities. In particular, commercial areas are often located in densely populated urban areas where the distribution typically takes place by means of trucks and vans, that add up to the total traffic existing in the city, increasing problems such as congestion, noise, and pollution. One important part that is usually not taken into account explicitly in City Logistics is the fact that traffic is not a static subject, rather it changes depending on the time of the day, the day of the week, and the time of the year, as well as due to (unexpected) events such as accidents and weather conditions. The variation of the traffic flows in the city has an important influence on the timely distribution of goods. Also, planning freight transportation in awareness of time-dependent traffic conditions can largely contribute to reducing congestion in the city.

Intermodal transportation of steel products

Intermodal freight transportation is the transportation of goods in one and the same loading unit or vehicle, using successive, various modes of transportation (truck, ship, train, and plane) without any handling of the freight itself during transfers between modes. The aim of intermodal freight transportation is to improve the efficiency of the whole distribution process by integrating various services and modes of transportation, which is exactly the goal of Industrie-Logistik-Linz.

Industrie 4.0 - new smart logistics models

The term Industrie 4.0 is aligned with several issues and concepts like autonomous cyber physical systems which are interconnected and run the entire production process and warehouse operations by themselves, customized production processes which lead to Lot-size 1 and the balance in between flexibility and efficiency. All these aspects and many others need to be addressed by creating smart logistics models. With regard to steel products, the areas of subject are on the one hand intra-logistics as well as their interface with transportation. With respect to an increase in efficiency and a reduction of logistics and transportation costs in more detail the objective is to compose a model for clearly regulated semi- automated intra-logistical processes in connection with a regulated (semi)-automated front-to-end truck control.