New business models enabling collaboration in the supply chain

A well-functioning transport system is of great importance for a modern society. The transport system in Europe today faces numerous challenges. Intensity of transport flows increases as a consequence of increasing trade and as a result an increase of demand for transport. Until now, the most of this increase has been absorbed by road transport. This is causing great concern in Europe due to increasing emission (especially greenhouse gases) from transport and road congestion. At this moment one of the most urgent objectives of the European Union for the transport sector is to substantially decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases. The modal shift from road transport to the currently more environmental friendly rail transport is targeted to contribute to the fulfilling of these objectives.

In Europe, rail intermodal transport has developed more favourable than the overall rail freight transport. Increase of intermodal hinterland transport as well as increase in the number of international transport services represents the main reason for this trend. However, the road transportation has undoubtedly remained the predominant mode in the European intermodal freight transport. The relatively faster growth of road freight transportation has contributed to an increase of congestion, environmental pollution and safety issues. Among root causes for this unbalanced development between road and rail transport modes is inefficient cooperation in the whole supply chain. This is closely related with the choice of appropriate business model for the required cooperations between stakeholders, which represents business logic for earning the money.

Existing literature emphasises specific aspects of intermodal transport instead of taking a system’s view. It is difficult to assess how some improvements influence on other parts of the business and where optimization will bring the largest advantages. Therefore, a business model concept is needed in supply chain because it represents the entire logic of making business. It takes into account the complete picture which could fully represent the added value to the company.

Deliverable 4.2 “Report on new business models enabling collaboration in the supply chain” describes the assessment of new cooperative business model which could promote and increase the attractiveness of rail freight transport from the aspect of the entire supply chain. Current results of the Work Packages 6 to 8 (CIT 1 to 3) are taken into account and appropriate findings are estimated by the Value Case Methodology.

This activity has concluded on a proposal of a business model based on vertical cooperation among the main stakeholders in a transport chain. It represents a general model for improving the relationship among the railway and non-railway related actors. A presence of an orchestrator empowered by a control tower which on one side manages the demand for transport services and on the other has the full control over the railway transport represents a good base for designing a sustainable, environmentally friendly intermodal transport chain. The model seeks for improvement of reliability and flexibility on a corridor by coordination between the most important actors in the transport chain. In this case a vertical cooperation model is proposed between a 4PL, as an orchestrator, number of shippers or one big shipper, number of LSPs, terminal and a rail operator.