Towards Collaborative, Intermodal Hub Networks. A Case Study in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Market

Inefficiencies in today's road transportation make it necessary to look for alternatives in the fast-moving consumer goods logistics sector. One such alternative is the collaborative hub network, in which consolidated flows are shifted to modes that are better suited for handling large volumes (rail, barge, coastal shipping), so economies of scale can be obtained. Through collaboration, the necessary synchronization between expensive but fast and flexible means of transport and inexpensive, but slow and inflexible means can be combined in an intermodal hub network. This paper shows the rationale behind these collaborative hub networks, based on the literature on the design of many-to-many hub networks. The resulting methodology is explained through presenting the results of the design and implementation of collaborative hub network for the distribution of fast moving consumer goods using a combination of trucking and inland barges. This concept won the European Intermodal Award of the European Intermodal Association in 2003. A logistics service provider and barge operator in the Netherlands have launched a commercial pilot program employing this concept. Policy implications and directions for further research are discussed.


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  • Accession Number: 01010479
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2005 11:30PM