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Optimisation models for the transport sector

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

So far only little has been published on treating multi-modal and dynamic transport. Few papers describe parts of the problem. Integrated models are rare. Hence, this project contributes with new international level research results and adds competence to the transport sector in Denmark.


The objective of the project is to develop a theory with models and efficient methods for multi-modal dynamic freight transport, i.e. transport with at least one transfer between different transport modes and transport for which timing must be considered. The project is based on two small-scale pilot projects that have been carried out at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) prior to the establishment of the Centre for Logistics and Freight Transport (CLG).


The project consists of three sub-projects:

1. A sub-project developing models and methods for strategic determination of a high-level multi-modal transport network, i.e. location of freight terminal centres and main transport connections under consideration of realistic (non linear) cost functions and choice of transport mode.
2. A sub-project developing models and methods for operational on-line scheduling of specific multi-modal transports, i.e. determination of route, timings, modes of transport and allocation of crew.
3. A sub-project developing models and methods for consolidation of single transport assignments into aggregated transport.

All three sub-projects are based on mathematical models and solution methods using decision theory, operational research and network algorithms. The projects integrate these three models. Data from a European example is used.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


A freight travel planner (Door-to-door Combined Transport Planner, COTRAP) has been developed. Compared to a personal travel planner, it is a much more complex problem, involving many and varying travel operators, capacity constraints, prices, travel speeds. Furthermore, the objective function is more complicated.

Policy implications

The project has optimised time tables for freight transport network and has focused on terminal operations in a multi-modal transport network. The project has pointed out 3 proposed research themes for future research.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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