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Analysis of the impact of Information Communication Technology implementation on Rail Freight Operations

Lookup NU author(s): Clare Woroniuk, Dr Marin Marinov, Dr Tom ZunderORCiD


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Abstract Purpose: The objective of this research is to determine the components of a reliable model to analyse the impact of Information Communication Technologies on rail freight services. EU rail freight is currently in decline as a result of market fluctuations caused by the relocation of manufacturing and services from Europe to Asia. Motivated by the potential of ICT to improve rail freight services, this research aims to identify the impact of ICT implementation on rail freight as it is envisaged this collaboration could improve EU rail freight trends. Research approach: This research employs a desktop methodology in order to identify the components of a model to measure the impact of ICT implementation on rail freight. A combination of practical and theoretical developments has been included in the scope of the literature under review. For the purposes of analysis these have been separated into three streams, conducted research, theoretical and simulation modelling and practical applications. The evaluation of previous research has incorporated a review of rail freight operations modelling research alongside the analysis of ICT and freight transport literature. Analysis of practical applications has incorporated observations from across the EU in order to identify the most prevalent issues which ICT implementation could address. Findings & Originality: To the best of our knowledge a standard evaluation model does not currently exist to analyse the impact of ICT on rail freight. The literature demonstrates a number of recent developments between ICT and freight transport which reflects the growing interest in the topic. A slow rate of ICT adoption in freight services in the EU has been observed, while different trends have been identified in the US where ICT and rail freight are more advanced. Within the field of ICT and freight many standalone systems have been produced, as yet no standardised ICT system has been implemented. Research Impact: It is anticipated that this research will provide a contribution to knowledge through addressing this current research issue and through the provision of a suitable model to measure the impact of ICT implementation on rail freight. Practical Impact: Expected benefits from this research include a model to present to industry which has the capability to evaluate the existing network and to forecast potential improvements to the network through the implementation of ICT, including operation time savings. It will be possible to measure the impact of ICT implementation over time, allowing for the development of ICT implementation plans. It is anticipated that the industry uptake of ICT technologies will be assessed through a survey or questionnaire.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Woroniuk C, Marinov M, Zunder T

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 17th Annual Logistics Research Network Conference

Year of Conference: 2012

Pages: 7 pp.

Date deposited: 28/02/2013


Sponsor(s): The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK)