Modelling the impact of infrastructure developments on the resilience of intermodal container transport networks: One-Belt-One-Road Case study

Abstract

Infrastructure development initiatives such as terminal expansions and the addition of new corridors are common interventions aiming to increase the efficiency and efficiency of transportation systems. At the same time, it has been demonstrated that in certain cases, such enhancements might prove detrimental to overall performance, or would increase vulnerability to disruptions due to systemic complexity. Asia-to-Europe liner services represent one of the key segments of the international container shipping market. The recently established One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) policy aims to further enhance the performance of this corridor, with a range of initiatives that notably include a set of overland direct rail service between China and Europe. These can halve the transit times ordinarily required by traditional liner services, and as such have the potential reduce overall shipping costs for certain product classes of despite the increased cost of rail service. With the increasing attention attracted by these initiatives, it is crucial to understand their potential impact to the global container transport network. Furthermore, the effects of long-standing concerns, such as transhipment, trade imbalance, modal integration and resilience should be examined in new light. We address these challenges with a quantitative framework capable of identifying most vulnerable components in large networks with limited or no historical disruption data. We propose a game-theoretic attacker-defender model (ADM) consisting of a two-player, zero-sum game between a global ocean carrier (defender) that aims at minimising container routing costs and malevolent agent (attacker) that aims at maximising disruption costs. A numerical case study for the Asia-to-Europe trade is constructed to assess the impact of the OBOR freight corridor on network resilience. Results identify the most vulnerable network components and interventions that would increase system resilience such as investment on alternative transhipment hubs.

Publication
Logistics and Maritime Systems Conference (LOGMS)
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Panagiotis Angeloudis
Associate Professor
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Simon Hu
Visiting Research Fellow