Identification Technologies in Transportation - In the context of Foliated Transportation Networks
Paper i proceeding, 2006

This paper explores the possibilities of identification technologies in a mixed transportation network context. A concept using the potential of the technology has been developed, called Foliated Transportation Network. By using detailed real-time information on the goods, the planning of vehicles and other resources can be made more efficient and the filling rates and resource utilisation can increase. Combined with an efficient sorting and consolidation strategy this will imply great possibilities for both the transportation companies and their customers. A survey is used to discuss the future and development of identification technologies and Radio Frequency Identification, RFID. The results show some of the potential of the technology as well as the potential threats. Future applications are believed to involve great possibilities as well as challenges that have to be dealt with. For transportation companies, this is an area that cannot be neglected. The proposed transportation network combines the characteristics of a traditional terminal network and direct shipment between terminals with those of a hub-and-spoke network. To illustrate the situation that occurs when using a mixed transportation network like this, two scenarios have been described in detail, using data from a major North European logistics provider. As a result both physical and technical restraints have been found, including the availability of information, standardization issues, the physical properties of the terminals and the characteristics of the transportation network. The research shows that the potential benefits are several. The main benefit is that customer service can be increased while the cost of transportation can be held at a minimum. From a social perspective, it also shows that the environmental impact of transportation can be reduced due to higher filling rates and more efficient use of trucks and resources and thus, better coordination of goods and resources. The feasibility and future impact of the strategy is discussed, using data and experiences from a Scandinavian perspective but should easily be applicable to other settings such as intermodal transportation or international freight.


Pehr-Ola Pahlén

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport

Proceeding of Australasian Transport Research Forum 2006