Business development for non-cranable semitrailers with innovative systems in combined transport

The additional shift of non-cranable semitrailers from road to rail offers the possibility to increase the utilization of existing rail systems in intermodal transport. 98 percent of German semitrailers are non-cranable and thus offer a large modal shift potential. However, horizontal transshipment technologies have not been able to prevail in the market so far. New approaches now offer solutions for the rapid vertical transshipment of non-cranable semitrailers. These new technologies make investments in new handling equipment necessary.

Previous research of the chair of Management and Logistics in the projects and MitKV and KoVoS also indicate a further need in the understanding of customer behavior regarding the booking of non-cranable semitrailers in combined transport.

On the one hand the project GenesisKV examines the customers’ view and their willingness to switch from road transport to combined transport. On the other hand the carriers’ investments in new transshipment technologies are evaluated taking possible market developments and customer behaviors into account.

The used agent-based simulation of a transport route going from North Germany to South Europe allows exploring the mechanics in combined transport with the decision behavior of customers together with possible development scenarios in the market.

Key Data:

Runtime: August 2015 to January 2016

Sponsor: DB Mobility Logistics AG


  • DB Schenker Rail,
  • DB Mobility Logistics AG,
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Modeling approach: Agent-based
  • Performance criterion: Break-even calculation for the investment decision for transshipment equipment for non-cranable semi-trailers