Multi-level and multi-agent control of intermodal container transport systems

Project members:Dr. L. Li, MSc (Le), Dr. R. R. Negenborn , prof.dr.ir. B. De Schutter (Bart)
Keywords:Model-based control, Multi-level and multi-agent control, Infrastructure networks (water,energy,logistics)
Sponsored by:CSC , STW

Due to the increasing demand for container transport in national and international trade, hinterland haulage among major deep-sea ports and the containers' original/final inland locations has become an important component in modern logistic systems. Intermodal container transport integrates the use of different modalities (e.g., trucks, trains, barges, etc.) during the container delivery process to improve the efficiency and sustainability of hinterland haulage. One crucial challenge for hinterland haulage is to provide reliable transport services in a cost and time-efficient way with the existing transport infrastructures while considering physical capacities and environmental regulations.

The research problem of this project is to investigate “how containers can be transported efficiently over intermodal container transport networks including the Port of Rotterdam and hinterland terminals?”. The proposed research approach is to improve the operational performance of the intermodal container transport network via better real-time coordination. To implement the proposed research approach, two main tasks are considered:

(1) In the modeling task, dynamic intermodal container transport network models are developed. The models capture the characteristics of intermodal container transport, e.g., modality changes at intermodal terminals, due time requirements for container transport, capacity constraints of terminals and transport connections, etc.

(2) In the control task, the main work is to develop real-time and coordinated intermodal container flow assignment methods. A distributed and coordinated model predictive control methodology will be applied for real-time and coordinated container flow assignments over intermodal container transport networks while considering capacity constraints, modal split targets, information privacy, etc.

This is a joint DCSC-MTT project.

© Copyright Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, 2017.