Integration of inland waterway transport in the intermodal supply chain: a taxonomy of research challenges

An Caris, Sabine Limbourg, Cathy Macharis, Tom Van Lier, Mario Cools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


This paper identifies research opportunities which will enable the further integration of inland waterway
transport in the intermodal supply chain. Intermodal transport may be interpreted as a chain of actors
who supply a transport service. Inland navigation can play a crucial role in increasing supply chain service
performance. A first group of research challenges lies in the evolving relationship between transport
geography and logistics activities. The next set of research challenges has the objective to encourage efficient
operations in IWT: development of a system wide model for IWT, integration of operational planning
systems and analysis of bundling networks. A third group of research efforts is directed towards
shippers and consignees who use the intermodal transport chain to send or receive their goods: further
development of models that integrate intermodal transport decisions with supply chain decisions and
creation of green supply chains. A fourth cluster of research challenges concerns the problem domain
of external cost calculations. Finally detailed time series data on freight transport should be collected
to support these future research tracks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Intermodal transport
  • Inland navigation
  • Research challenges
  • Integration
  • Supply chain


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