Title

OPTIMAL LOCATION OF INTERMODAL FREIGHT HUBS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2005

Subject Area

planning - methods, mode - rail

Keywords

Site selection, Railroad transportation, Rail transportation, Placement (Location), Optimization, Optimisation, Methodology, Methodologies, Location, Locating, Linear equations, Intermodal facilities, Hub and spoke systems, Heuristic methods, Freight transportation, Case studies

Abstract

A dedicated or semi-dedicated freight rail network would permit railroad operators to add new services and configurations. The incorporation of high-speed shuttle-type services, in conjunction with a hub-and-spoke network structure, for example, could reduce lead times on train routes and increase flexibility. This study presents an optimization model to address the problem of increasing the share of rail in intermodal transport through the use of hub-and-spoke type networks for freight rail. The model defined is a generalization of the hub location problem in that it allows for nonlinear and concave cost functions on different segments. A linearization procedure along with two efficient variable-reduction heuristics was developed for its resolution, making use of recent results on polyhedral properties of this class of problems. Computational experience and a qualitative analysis from a case study are provided. Findings suggest that further work on the polyhedral properties of the problem would be beneficial on medium- and large-sized problems.

Comments

Transportation Research Part B Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01912615