Title

SCHEDULING RAILWAY FREIGHT DELIVERY APPOINTMENTS USING A BID PRICE APPROACH

Authors

E R. Kraft

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - scheduling, infrastructure - vehicle, ridership - commuting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, economics - revenue, economics - pricing, mode - rail, mode - car

Keywords

Trucks, Shipments, Shipment of goods, Scheduling, Scenarios, Road freight vehicles, Revenues, Reservations, Railways, Railroads, Projections, Pricing, Multi-commodity network flow, Lorries, Linear programming, Lagrangian functions, Heavy goods vehicles, Freight trains, Freight car utilization, Forecasting, Delivery service, Delivery of goods, Cargo vehicles, Car utilization (Railroads), Bids

Abstract

This paper proposes a new method for managing a reservations-based, capacity-constrained car scheduling process for freight railroads. The concept of scheduling individualized delivery appointment times is patterned after current motor carrier industry practice, so that customers can plan for rail or truck deliveries in the same way. A very simple, linear-programming-based formulation is proposed for both the dynamic car scheduling for shipments already accepted and a stochastic train segment pricing for forecasting future demands which have not yet called in and for which delivery appointments have yet to be scheduled. Both are formulated as multi-commodity network flow problems, where each shipment is treated as a separate commodity. Gain coefficients represent recapture probabilities that a specific customer will accept a carrier's service offer. This research also suggests a method for computing a "real dollar" objective function for future locomotive and crew distribution systems, allowing a direct tradeoff between the value versus the costs of providing extra capacity. The appendix uses a Lagrangian heuristic to obtain a primal solution for measurement of the duality gap.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564