Modal Competition and Complementarity: Cost Optimization at End-User Level

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The paper aims to identify possible methods for balancing the allocation of transport flow on modal subsystems in order to efficiently use the infrastructures and reduce the negative effects of today’s unbalance. The aspects of intermodal competition are reviewed, considering the economic concepts regarding the substitutability of transportation services, conformation degree to the perfect competition model and the nature of cross elasticity demand.

A top-down analysis over the whole infrastructure assembly is performed. The results, under the presumption of valid work hypothesis, indicated that for further analysis the set of networks transferring material flows can be assumed as disconnected from the other networks sets transferring energy, informational and values flows.

The second part of the paper develops, for that disconnected networks, a generalized cost optimization model for multimodal transportation, where the comfort and safety are accounted. Thus, the performance of the existing algorithms based only on trip length, trip duration and energy consumption can be significantly improved. Additionally, the author proposes three new independent types of modal analysis that allow end-users and companies involved in transport organization to optimize their modal choice and the whole transport process organization.

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