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Modelling Dry Port Systems in the Framework of Inland Waterway Container Terminals

Milovan Kovač1, Snežana Tadić1, Mladen Krstić1,*, Violeta Roso2

1 Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
2 Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, 41296, Sweden

* Corresponding Author: Mladen Krstić. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Advanced Computational Models for Decision-Making of Complex Systems in Engineering)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2023, 137(1), 1019-1046.


Overcoming the global sustainability challenges of logistics requires applying solutions that minimize the negative effects of logistics activities. The most efficient way of doing so is through intermodal transportation (IT). Current IT systems rely mostly on road, rail, and sea transport, not inland waterway transport. Developing dry port (DP) terminals has been proven as a sustainable means of promoting and utilizing IT in the hinterland of seaport container terminals. Conventional DP systems consolidate container flows from/to seaports and integrate road and rail transportation modes in the hinterland which improves the sustainability of the whole logistics system. In this article, to extend literature on the sustainable development of different categories of IT terminals, especially DPs, and their varying roles, we examine the possibility of developing DP terminals within the framework of inland waterway container terminals (IWCTs). Establishing combined road–rail–inland waterway transport for observed container flows is expected to make the IT systems sustainable. As such, this article is the first to address the modelling of such DP systems. After mathematically formulating the problem of modelling DP systems, which entailed determining the number and location of DP terminals for IWCTs, their capacity, and their allocation of container flows, we solved the problem with a hybrid metaheuristic model based on the Bee Colony Optimisation (BCO) algorithm and the measurement of alternatives and ranking according to compromise solution (i.e., MARCOS) multi-criteria decision-making method. The results from our case study of the Danube region suggest that planning and developing DP terminals in the framework of IWCTs can indeed be sustainable, as well as contribute to the development of logistics networks, the regionalisation of river ports, and the geographic expansion of their hinterlands. Thus, the main contributions of this article are in proposing a novel DP concept variant, mathematically formulating the problems of its modelling, and developing an encompassing hybrid metaheuristic approach for treating the complex nature of the problem adequately.


Cite This Article

Kovač, M., Tadić, S., Krstić, M., Roso, V. (2023). Modelling Dry Port Systems in the Framework of Inland Waterway Container Terminals. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 137(1), 1019–1046.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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