Many port authorities have developed ambitious strategies to foster hinterland intermodal transportation. In addition, port-centric logistics, that is, the provision of distribution facilities and value-adding activities in the port area, has expanded in multiple ports. Obviously, such port-centric logistics may impact the operations in the hinterland substantially and could potentially reduce opportunities for intermodal transport in the hinterland. We analyze the interaction between port-centric logistics and hinterland intermodal transportation. We take a logistics service provider's perspective and we include some key elements in the model, such as detention fees, extra handling, transport efficiency and empty container repositioning. We develop new analytical results identifying the optimal market areas of truck-only transportation, port-centric logistics and hinterland intermodal transportation. Our results show that tension between port-centric logistics and hinterland intermodal transportation is quite likely to happen in practice. We additionally study the use of continental containers as a way to reconcile port-centric logistics and hinterland intermodal transportation and we derive further results. We illustrate our results via an example and we highlight managerial insights.
- Hinterland intermodal transportation
- Market area theory
- Port-centric operations