Dong, Chuanwen, Robert Boute, Alan C. McKinnon and Marc Verelst
Investigating synchromodality from a supply chain perspective
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 61 (Part A): 57-42, (2018).
Abstract: Greater use of multimodal transportation can substantially improve the environmental performance of freight transportation. Despite strenuous efforts by public policy-makers to alter the freight modal split, most companies still rely heavily on road transportation, and modal shifts to rail and water have remained modest at best. In this paper we argue that this is partly the result of a failure to take a holistic supply chain view of the modal shift process. Synchromodality provides a framework within which shippers can manage their supply chains more flexibly to increase the potential for shifting mode. On the basis of a literature review, we broaden the conventional focus of multimodal transportation to give it a supply chain dimension, and propose the concept of ‘Synchromodality from a Supply Chain Perspective’ (SSCP). Using a case study we show that when the supply chain impacts are taken into account, it is possible to significantly increase the share of intermodal rail transportation within a corridor, without necessarily increasing total logistics cost or reducing the service level. In this way the environmental impact of freight activities can be significantly reduced.Show all publications