A container from the Far East that arrives at one of the large European container ports has already completed the longest leg of its journey. But the most complicated and cost-intensive part of its itinerary still lies ahead! As with any infrastructure, the last leg for a container that's been shipped across the globe poses the greatest challenge. The contents of a container – such as one from China – must be transported to the European hinterland as quickly and economically as possible, whether the destination is Vienna or Weißenfells.
Logistics and terminal service providers face the challenge of orchestrating the volume of expected cargo to ensure an economic justification for the terminal capacity and contracted carriers. GOMULTIMODAL specializes in helping companies and public institutions meet this challenge. The goal of the company is the successful management of shipments via environmentally friendly intermodal transport as well as the uncovering of potential for the sake of improving outcomes in the maritime supply chain. Hence our focus on "multimodal".
"The art of this business is to ensure that container trains and barges are optimally loaded," explains Gerhard Oswald, managing director of GOMULTIMODAL. But that's no easy task. While correctly used container trains constitute a very productive means of transporting containers, they also pose high risks. One thing holds true: If the container ship arrives to the port too late, the train will leave without the containers, and the economic loss is then the responsibility of the intermodal agency who arranged the transport. The best strategy is therefore to maintain a broad and matching basis of container volumes and contractors.
GOMULTIMODAL uses RegioGraph, the award-winning geographic software from GfK GeoMarketing, to analyze the key questions faced by every transport company, intermod-al operator and port: How does the demand for transport services break down accord-ing to area? What is the demand in a given region for a given freight volume (import or export)? Which train products and contain-er itineraries will ensure that transports are packed to maximum capacity? Here's an example of the kind of situations analyzed with RegioGraph: Each operated container terminal in the hinterland has a catchment area in and out of which freight is transacted. Far from being a static entity, a catchment area exhibits variation in terms of competitors, share of goods, time of year and many other factors.
A prerequisite for simulating traffic flows in RegioGraph is a knowledge of the actual and forecasted demand volumes per region for freight, especially for the various types
of freight in question. "This is the key
operational know-how of GOMULTIMODAL", says Oswald, referring to the well over 30 years of industry expertise that he and his co-partner and sea freight expert Wolfgang Osond bring to the business. RegioGraph helps to link and manage the various types of information involved. While most market information on freight arrivals is provided at the administrative level (e.g., by district or city), customer and sender data typically only includes a postcode reference. It's easy to link these two streams of information with a geomarketing tool such as RegioGraph.
RegioGraph tends to be used to manage information over the mid and long term.
RegioGraph is the right platform for analyz-ing demand related to the weekly shipment of goods via freight train (e.g., to Koblenz or Ulm) or for carrying out long-term simula-tions of truck container shipments along the autobahn A1 through the year 2030. Regio-Graph combines market-related parameters with the possibilities of the multimodal distribution of retail goods.
"A techno-logistic perspective tends to predominate among freight carriers," explains Oswald. "We see ourselves as a bridge between this viewpoint and the sales and marketing perspective."
In the end, managing global product flows is about satisfying regional market demand with an optimally tailored offering. "Regio-Graph is ideal for this task!" says Gerhard Oswald.
GOMULTIMODAL is a consulting specialist for national and international transports via intermodal transport and seaport hinterland transport in Europe. The company's offering is geared toward suppliers and users as well as political institutions, organizations and public institutions. Services include consultancy, personnel services and representation.
Contact: Gerhard Oswald, managing director | goswald(at)gomultimodal.com