Intermodal Terminal Design for Autonomous Freight Transportation Systems


Intermodal Terminal Design for Autonomous Freight Transportation Systems


Sirwan Shahooei1, Mohammad Najafi2, Siamak Ardekani3, Fateme Rezaeifar4

1 Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas Arlington;
2 Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas Arlington;
3 Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas Arlington;
4 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas Arlington


This paper investigates the design and operation of an intermodal terminal for Underground Freight Transportation (UFT) system. UFT is considered as a new mode of freight transportation that uses pipelines for transporting freight between two intermodal terminals. The load size and route length of the UFT system can be variable depending on the purpose and specifications of the project. In this paper two sizes of loads and two route lengths are considered to show that the terminal design and operation are independent from route length and load size. Each UFT route starts at the Port of Houston where shipping container or pallet size loads will be delivered to the UFT system. The short-haul route ends at a proposed intermodal satellite terminal outside Houston and the long-haul route terminates in a proposed intermodal inland port in Dallas. This paper develops inclusive equations to estimate the operational attributes of the UFT intermodal terminal. These attributes include operational headway, system flow, fleet size, and number of handlers/forklifts required in operation of the terminal. Based on the terminal operation requirements, a typical design for a UFT intermodal terminal is presented. In addition, the loading/unloading process and the freight circulation scheme are discussed. Although, this schematic terminal design and operation are for shipping container loads, but the same concept can be applied to smaller scale loads such as pallets.


Keywords: Freight Transportation, Intermodal Terminal Design, Freight Pipeline, Intermodal Transportation System, Underground Freight Transportation

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How to cite this article:

Sirwan Shahooei, Mohammad Najafi, Siamak Ardekani, Fateme Rezaeifar. Terminal Design for Autonomous Freight Transportation Systems. American Journal of Transportation and Logistics, 2018,1:8. DOI:10.28933/ajtl-2018-10-0401


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