Simulation based analytics for efficient planning and management in multimodal freight transportation industry
The multimodal freight transportation planning is a complex problem with several factors affecting decisions, including network coverage, carriers and their schedules, existing contractual agreements with carriers and clients, carrier capacity constraints, and market conditions. Day-to-day operations like booking and bidding are mostly done manually and there is a lack of decision support tools to aid the operators. These operations are governed by a complex set of business rules involving service agreements with the clients, contractual agreements with the carriers and forwarder's own business objectives. The multimodal freight transportation industry lacks a comprehensive solution for end-to-end route optimization and planning. We developed analytics for trade lane managers to identify and exploit opportunities to improve procurement, carrier selection, capacity planning, and business rules management. Our simulation based analytics tool is useful for managing business rules and for doing what-if analysis which can lead to better resource planning, cost management, and rate negotiations.