Theme 3: Coordination & Logistics

Theme focus

Goods, people, and materials are handled using a vast range of equipment and transport vehicles, when transporting these from origins to destinations. The involved transport processes can be found in large transport and distribution networks, production facilities, warehouses, and supply chains. The actions of the individual components directly affect the performance of the overall transport process-- the components form a truly networked transport system. Without adequate coordination the performance of this transport process can quickly deteriorates in the presence of disturbances, resulting in huge losses.

This theme focuses on networked transport systems in which coordination among multiple transport components is essential. This theme proposes innovative designs, control architectures, and logistical concepts for such transport systems. The role of interconnectivity and coordination are key concepts that are hereby investigated. The goal is hereby to achieve optimal performance with respect to costs, safety, resource-efficiency, and environmental impact, while taking into account the networked nature of the transport system.

Fundamental approaches for design are developed on the one hand, while adopting these fundamental approaches in close cooperation with societal and industrial stake holders to more applied approaches. Successful projects have resulted in, amongst others, new transport concepts for container and dry bulk terminal operators, port and airport authorities, warehouse and manufacturing plant owners, and water, rail, road and intermodal transport companies.

Core techniques that are being developed and applied within this theme come from the fields of mathematical decision making / operations research, systems and control, optimization, scheduling, multi-agent systems, discrete-event simulation, systems engineering, and graph theory.