Haalbaarheidsstudie van rail-weg hybride containertransport in de Nederlandse
Report 2001.LT.5519, Transport Technology, Logistic Engineering.
A possible alternative transport modality is the automatic guided rail-road
hybrid transport system, which can be used on roads as well as railroads.
The goal of this study is to assess the feasibility of a network for
container transport with rail-road hybrid vehicles. This is done by
creating an overview of the demand on container transport market and the
possibilities of a rail-road hybrid network. An exploitation model is
designed to quantify market opportunities and exploitation possibilities.
The model is applied to the case of the 'Betuweroute', a railroad
connection between Rotterdam and the German border.
At this moment container transport between port and hinterland is done by
truck, train or boat. A possible alternative transport modality is the
rail-road hybrid transport system, developed by the TU Delft. This system
differs from the conventional system on two aspects:
The rail-road hybrid vehicle has approximately the length of a truck. It
has rubber wheels, which are used for steering, and rail-wheels that can
be used for vertical support. It can be used on dedicated roads as well
as railroads that are adjusted with concrete panels for the rubber wheels.
With these techniques the rail-road hybrid systems benefits of the low
resistance of rail as well as the two-dimensional freedom of road. The
rail-road hybrid vehicle is guided automatically and can travel without a
driver. The automatic guidance system differs from the conventional
system because it can operate on large scale (geographically and with many
- The physical transport concept
- The automated guidance system
To be feasible, a new transportation system must be interesting in the
market and exploitable without external financial help. The chances of
success depend on the motivation of all stakeholders and the demands that
can be satisfied.
Goal and structure of the study
The goal of this study is to judge the feasibility of a network for
container transport with rail-road hybrid vehicles. This is done in four
steps. First an overview of the demand on the container transport market
is created. Then the supply to this demand is described, in which the
possibilities of a rail-road hybrid network are highlighted. After that an
exploitation model is designed to quantitatively judge the exploitation
possibilities. Finally a case study of a rail-road implemented
Betuweroute is done.
In this study the complete landside container transportation chain is
regarded, from ship crane to hinterland destination (and the other way
around). This includes all transfer moves (by cranes) and stacking.
The market on which the possibilities are explored is the container
transport market of 2020, according to the DE- and GC-scenarios (Centraal
Plan Bureau). The actual development is between these two scenarios and,
when the average of the two scenarios is taken, the market will multiply
by 2,5 between 1995 and 2020.
The different modalities are characterized by the balance between the
demanded tariff and the quality that is offered. The quality dimensions
are reliability, time, frequency, condition (damage) and flexibility. The
main aspects on which a transportation modality is chosen are time and
tariff (costs to user). These two aspects are regarded for the complete
landside chain and are mainly influenced by the speed, the quantity of
handling moves, the stacking time and the tariff.
The new rail-road hybrid modality has the remarkable advantage of being
able to participate at both the terminal operations and the hinterland
transport. Therefore it can skip several handling moves. The different
quantities of necessary handling moves in the transport chains make large
differences in time in costs. The required travel time of the rail-road
hybrid system is close to the truck, which is relatively fast.
The exploitation model
To be able to give a quantitative judgement on the exploitation
possibilities of a network for rail-road hybrid vehicles in the container
transport market, an exploitation model is designed. The most important
part of the model is the choice model that describes the market chances of
a modality, by modeling the choice process. The main choice factors are
time and costs. The container transport market is divided in different
regions. For all regions the most interesting (in terms of exploitation)
tariff and the related market share are calculated. With a basic
cost calculation, an indication of the exploitation results is created.
Figure 1: The demand-, supply- en exploitation functions
The optimal (absolute) exploitation result is obtained, at the maximum
difference between revenues and costs (figure 1). The maximum absolute
exploitation result implies that an optimal market share is obtained and not
that the maximum tariff is asked.
The case study, a rail-road hybrid Betuweroute
The Betuweroute transfers the Netherlands from east to west (and the other
way around), from the Maasvlakte (Port of Rotterdam) to Zevenaar. The
rail-road hybrid Betuweroute is divided in ten links between nodes that
are interesting locations for transfer terminals. From each terminal
different parts of the market are supplied, including three international
regions. The model is calibrated on the market of 1995 (without rail-road
hybrid system) (figure 2). After that, the volumes of 2020 and the properties
of the rail-road modality are used as input of the calibrated model. With the
model the market shares of the four modalities in 2020 and the
exploitation results of the rail-road hybrid system are calculated
Figure 2. 1995 modal split and model output for 2020.
The calculations show that the rail-road hybrid network is profitable on
all transport relations. With maximum financial results on all relations,
an average market share of 9,4 % is feasible.
The most critical and uncertain factors of influence are the transfer
costs (per move) in the rail-road hybrid chain and the travel time and
costs of the other modalities. When these factors are varied with 10%
(both positive and negative) the market shares are influenced. Changing
the tariffs of the competing modalities has the highest impact. When
these are lowered with 10%, the market shares of the rail-road hybrid
system drops with 40%. However, there is enough room in the exploitation
results to compensate these changes.
An alternative market scenario is tested. This shows that when the road
tariffs grow and the tariffs of the rail-road hybrid are lowered to the
cost level, a market share of 43% is obtained on national markets (60% on
regions close to Rotterdam).
Conclusions en recommendations
The main conclusions that are drawn from the research study are:
According to the conclusions, the rail-road hybrid system is interesting
for further research. It is recommended to produce the following parts:
- An average market share of 9,4% can be obtained (average of all markets
that can be supplied through the rail-road hybrid Betuweroute).
- The shares on short distances are larger then on long distances, because
the cost effects of skipping handling moves are stronger and because
trains and boats are less competitive.
- At the optimal market shares relatively high tariffs can be asked, leaving
space for unexpected cost effects.
- With a building period of 5 years and a start-up period of 10 years, a
minimal project length of 17 years is required for the project to be a
financially interesting investment.
- Participation in the terminal operations is a key-factor for success and
cooperation between several players in the chain is therefore required.
- An alternative market scenario shows that when the road tariffs grow and
the tariffs of the rail-road hybrid are lowered to the cost level, a
market share of 43% can be obtained.
- A more detailed analysis of the designs and the heights of the different
(investment) costs, to be able to give a more accurate indication of the
possible exploitation results.
- A research study about the start-up effects and risks.
- A research study of the cooperation structures in the very competitive
container transport chain as well as in public-private projects.
- An external cost-benefits analysis (environmental, social).
- An analysis of the possibilities of other network configurations, to
obtain larger shares in the markets of the provinces North- and
Reports on Logistic Engineering (in Dutch)
, TU Delft