Real-time information for disruption management in intermodal freight transport

Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on the recovery phase after operational disruptions in intermodal freight transport, which is a vital aspect of mitigating impacts such as late deliveries and thus achieving high operational efficiency. Intermodal freight transport is influenced by the ongoing development of information and communication technologies. Real-time information from these technologies has been shown useful for managing disruptions at the operational level. Previous research on intermodal freight transport has focused on the effects of actions enabled by real-time information, which has generated a lack of understanding the importance of real-time information concerning the process that result in these actions, such as using real-time information to manage operational disruptions. In this thesis, the process of managing disruptions in the recovery phase by using real-time information to detect a disruption, predict its impacts and take suitable action is termed disruption management. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the importance of real-time information for disruption management in intermodal freight transport.   This thesis draws from a compilation of five studies conducted to examine various aspects of real-time information used during the recovery phase in different intermodal freight transport settings. The studies involved applying various methods used in qualitative case studies, such as interviews, observations, and a focus group, as well as a quantitative study involving discrete event simulation. The main results are as follows. First, the results identified how real-time information supports the phases of disruption management (i.e., detection, prediction and action) depending on different factors of real-time information. Second, connections between operational coordination regarding information and buffers are discussed in terms of how they influence the real-time information used for disruption management. Last, an investigation of the efficiency effects was made with different scenarios for real-time information regarding prediction of impact. Through these results, the thesis provides insights into the importance of real-time information for disruption management and theoretical contributions to intermodal freight transport by conceptualising the role of real-time information for disruption management at the operational level and its effects. The detailed descriptions of real-time information for recovery provides practical contributions for transport managers to understand and evaluate their processes at the recovery phase.

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