This Technical Note documents a study, carried out for the U.S. Maritime Administration, to develop analytical techniques for use in optimizing the locations and characteristics of inland centers to facilitate the flow of containerizable marine cargo. Such centers would perform the consolidation of small lots (LCL) of break-bulk general cargo into container loads for export; for the reverse flow, they would carry out the handling and unloading of import containers for cargo distribution. The basic conclusions of this study are: (1) The present line-haul container rates and consolidation costs at inland consolidation centers, when compared with cost of shipment in less-than-container load lots of break-bulk, appear to give a distinct monetary advantage to the shipping community from the use of inland consolidation centers. (2) A computerized mathematical model to guide the selection of consolidation center locations is both feasible and useful; its use, level of detail, and the interpretations given its outputs must be duly sensitive to the quality of the data available. (3) For a port authority, a freight forwarder, an exporter or transportation company interested in containerization, or a government agency promoting such a program, it is essential to know points of origin, routes of transportation, times in transit, pertinent rates, volumes, seasonal variations, and points of destination of present and future flows of export and import cargo. These data are not presently available. The data are at least as important as the means by which they are manipulated. (4) The cost to a shipper of a center, can vary appreciably depending on precise center location, but given reasonably acute acquisition choices and operating practices, this variation should not be so appreciable as to affect a shipper's choice of center. Therefore, it is not necessary for the mathematical model to pinpoint the exact geographical location of each center in order to indicate how to achieve near-minimum total costs. The balance of this document, which reports fully the fact-finding and model-related work described just above, is relatively lengthy. It contains considerable technical detail, describes a number of data interpretations and modeling possibilities alternative to those actually adopted, and includes a good deal of material which (although relevant) proved peripheral to the main course of the study.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Bureau of Standards

    14th Between E Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20234
  • Authors:
    • Jordan, R H
  • Publication Date: 1970-11

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 138 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00019258
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NBS 530 Tech Note
  • Contract Numbers: P1-MA68-112
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 8 1978 12:00AM