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Minimodal: Dimensional Domain of Miniature Shipping Containers for Intermodal Freight Transportation

By Lee D. Stapley

Abstract

This study explores the feasibility of miniature shipping container usage within existing intermodal transportation (IT) supply chains. Smaller intermodal container shipments may help realign freight shipments with the most efficient transportation mode, rail. These containers embolden the dimensional domain (DD) of shipping. The shipping container dimensional domain (container size variation and modal fluidity) is widespread and results in shipments that are often larger or more infrequent than needed. The DD impacts: transport mode, shipping frequency, shipment velocity, intermodal supply chain accessibility, and regional shipping networks. This study suggests that container size impacts the DD and, therefore, mode choice. As miniature shipping containers may be used to delineate between large and one-off specialized shipments, inventories are leaned out and warehousing functions shift towards the supply chain. Several organizations may be affected such as ports, railroads, over-the-road and less-than-truckload trucking companies, shippers, buyers, and trans-loading facilities. Therefore, this paper will explore Minimodal’s (MM) integrational feasibility with an evaluation of rail efficiency over trucking efficiency, standard operating procedures, and the emboldening of the dimensional domain. Additionally, future research efforts may further examine the dimensional domain of shipping, and to what extent container size impacts mode choice. Keywords: Intermodal, intermodal transportation, miniature shipping container(s), Minimodal, dimensional domain of shipping, twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), velocity, container size optimization, trans-load(ing), feasibility, OTR and LTL trucking, lumpy shipments, transportation sharing

Publisher: Scholarship & Creative Works @ Digital UNC
Year: 2018
OAI identifier: oai:digscholarship.unco.edu:honors-1010

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