Modeling the cost sensitivity of intermodal inland waterway terminals: A scenario based approach

Cost characteristics of differently sized inland waterway terminals (IWTs) have not received much scientific attention. This observation is remarkable given the importance of costs in transportation decision-making. Classification of differently sized IWTs and their cost structure will lead to more insight into the container cost per terminal. Therefore, the goal of the authors' research was to determine both the characteristics of the cost structure associated with different inland waterway (IWW) container terminal types and the sensitivity of the system to cost/twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) changes in input and operational conditions. The authors show that terminals with a higher container throughput encounter fewer costs, and can therefore charge a lower price. Assumed delays of 2 h per day on the waterside cause a 4.7–6.6% cost increase per container, mainly caused by extra labor costs. It is also assumed that the changing climate will influence terminal operations and results in extreme water levels (lasting two weeks occurring four times a year) causing a cost increase of 1.0–3.4%. Subsidies can cause cost reductions of 0.3–10.4% depending on the exact form, with the smaller terminals benefiting more because their investment costs are higher relative to operational costs. A subsidy can lower costs by up to 10.4%, but it is questionable whether small and medium terminals will have a lower cost price than the market price, showing that it is important for small and medium terminals to quickly grow in size.


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  • Accession Number: 01597569
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2016 3:47PM