Development of a Novel Freight Railcar Load Planning and Monitoring System
Rail transport has unmistakable sustainable (environmental and economic) advantages in goods transportation on a massive scale. Goods loading constitutes an important segment of goods transportation by rail. Incorrect loading can be a serious threat to traffic safety as well as a generator of unforeseen expenses related to goods, railway infrastructure and vehicles. At the beginning, the paper identifies the presence of incorrect loading into freight railcars. The analysis of the available loading software has led to the conclusion that no software offers adequate support to the planning and monitoring of the loading of goods into a covered railcar using a forklift truck. For this reason, the main aim of the research is to formulate a mathematical model that includes real-world constraints, as well as the design and implementation of an original user-friendly load planning and monitoring software system. Experimental evaluations of the implemented software have been made based on single and multiple railcar pallet loading problems, considering the following three optimization criteria: maximization of wagon load weight, maximization of wagon volume utilization and maximization of weighted profit. By testing the optimization and visualization features of the software and analyzing the results, it has been concluded that it can offer full support to real load planning and monitoring problems.
multi-criteria modeling in railway transport; sustainable railway transport; Cutting and Packing problem; container loading; load planning and monitoring software