The Cargo Fare Class Mix problem for an intermodal corridor: revenue management in synchromodal container transportation

Bart van Riessen, Rudy R. Negenborn, Rommert Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The intermodal hinterland transportation of maritime containers is under pressure from port authorities and shippers to achieve a more integrated, efficient network operation. Current optimisation methods in literature yield limited results in practice, though, as the transportation product structure limits the flexibility to optimise network logistics. Synchromodality aims to overcome this by a new product structure based on differentiation in price and lead time. Each product is considered as a fare class with a related service level, allowing to target different customer segments and to use revenue management for maximising revenue. However, higher priced fare classes come with tighter planning restrictions and must be carefully balanced with lower priced fare classes to match available capacity and optimise network utilisation. Based on the developments of intermodal networks in North West European, such as the network of European Gateway Services, the Cargo Fare Class Mix problem is proposed. Its purpose is to set limits for each fare class at a tactical level, such that the expected revenue is maximised, considering the available capacity at the operational level. Setting limits at the tactical level is important, as it reflects the necessity of long-term agreements between the transportation provider and its customers. A solution method for an intermodal corridor is proposed, considering a single intermodal connection towards a region with multiple destinations. The main purpose of the article is to show that using a limit on each fare class increases revenue and reliability, thereby outperforming existing fare class mix policies, such as Littlewood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-658
JournalFlexible Services and Manufacturing Journal (online)
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Container transportation
  • Fare class sizes
  • Intermodal planning
  • Revenue management
  • Synchromodal planning


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