Automated Transfer Management Systems and the Intermodal Performance of North American Freight Distribution

Intermodal rail is currently only an appealing option for containerized goods carried over long distances due to relatively high embedded costs. Transfers that in theory should entail only a few operations at a terminal in reality require multiple operations. This paper proposes that incorporating new terminal designs and an automated transfer management system (ATMS) at terminals and distribution centers would significantly improve efficiency and productivity. These changes could significantly lower fixed costs, and would be faster and more reliable. These gains could make both long and short haul intermodal movements more competitive. A network of terminals with ATMS connections along strategic railroad corridors would spur investments in railroads and help create a world-class freight movement network in North America.


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  • Accession Number: 01150805
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2010 10:59AM