Intermodal hinterland network design games

Yann Bouchery*, Marco Slikker, Jan C. Fransoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Intermodal hinterland transportation is becoming increasingly critical for global container supply chains. Managing intermodal hinterland networks is challenging because multiple actors often interact in practice. The intermodal hinterland network design games that we propose enable assessing the impact of having noncooperative users in intermodal networks. The games fall into the class of network design games but have key distinctive features. We provide some general results as well as an instance without a pure Nash equilibrium for the general case. Subsequently, we focus on the special case with a single intermodal connection available. We show that a pure Nash equilibrium always exists but that this one is not always unique. We additionally identify key structural properties for this single-hub game. These properties enable us to identify all pure Nash equilibria and a system-optimal solution in polynomial time. We illustrate our results with an application related to the development of an extended gate in the Netherlands and derive a series of insights. Overall, the results show that the multiple user feature of intermodal hinterland networks is critical and needs to be accounted for at the network design stage. We believe that this latter statement holds for general network design problems with multiple users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1287
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Hinterland supply chain
  • Hub location
  • Network design game


Dive into the research topics of 'Intermodal hinterland network design games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this