Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in intermodal freight transport: an application to rail service design
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- Bauer, J., Bektaş, T. & Crainic, T. J Oper Res Soc (2010) 61: 530. doi:10.1057/jors.2009.102
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Freight transport has undesirable effects on the environment. The most prominent of these is greenhouse gas emissions. Intermodal freight transport, where freight is shipped from origin to destination by a sequence of at least two transportation modes, offers the possibility of shifting freight (either partially or in full) from one mode to another in the hope of reducing the greenhouse emissions by appropriately scheduling the services and routing the freight. Traditional planning methods for scheduling services in an intermodal transportation network usually focus on minimizing travel or time-related costs of transport. This article breaks away from such an approach by addressing the issue of incorporating environment-related costs (greenhouse gases, to be specific) into freight transportation planning and proposes an integer program in the form of a linear cost, multicommodity, capacitated network design formulation that minimizes the amount of greenhouse gas emissions of transportation activities. Computational results based on an application of the proposed approach on a real-life rail freight transportation network are presented.