Synchromodal transportation planning using travel time information

Hannah Yee*, Joren Gijsbrechts, Robert Boute

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Synchromodal transportation planning is defined by the possibility to re-route shipments to alternative transportation modes at intermediate terminals based on real-time information about the shipment in transit. We present a synchromodal decision support model to determine the optimal modal choice for a single shipment in a multimodal network that is characterized by stochastic travel times. The model is formulated as a Markov decision process and allows adaptations to the modal choice based on real-time information on the travel time. Our formulation trades off transportation and late delivery penalty costs, and captures the value of synchromodal planning. We demonstrate the use of our model in a numerical case study, where we evaluate synchromodal against static intermodal transportation planning. The latter does not allow real-time adjustments to the modal choice. Compared to intermodality, synchromodal planning has most value when the penalty for late delivery is high and transportation services are more frequent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103367
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Adaptive decision-making
  • Markov decision process
  • Physical internet
  • Real-time information
  • Stochastic travel times
  • Synchromodality


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