Performance analysis of a drop-swap terminal to mitigate truck congestion at chemical sites

Budhi S. Wibowo*, Jan C. Fransoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Truck congestion at chemical sites is a persistent problem that is difficult to solve, even using a truck appointment system. This study presents an alternative solution to improve the flexibility of chemical sites by creating a drop-swap terminal adjacent to the site location. The terminal serves as an intermediate depot where the trucks can drop empty containers and swap them with preloaded containers without entering the site. This study aims to evaluate the performance of such a solution in mitigating truck congestion at chemical sites. The problem is modeled as a nonstationary semi-open queueing network with time-varying arrivals. We propose a combination of a fluid-flow approximation and a decomposition-aggregation method to estimate the time-dependent performance of the system. A chemical site in the Netherlands is presented as a case study. Several scenarios are tested and evaluated. Numerical results show that a drop-swap terminal can effectively reduce truck idling time and increase logistics efficiency at chemical sites. We also found that swapping containers on chassis is a cheaper and greener option to operate the terminal. However, the investment needed to support the operation should not be overlooked to sustain the benefits. The study concluded with several key messages for site operators who wish to maximize the benefit from a drop-swap terminal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-454
Number of pages39
JournalFlexible Services and Manufacturing Journal
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Chemical site
  • Containers
  • Drop-swap
  • Semi-open queuing network
  • Truck congestion


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