Towards a sustainable and efficient integrated dry ports network (IDPN): Mashreq countries as a case study

PhD Thesis

Mohammad, R. 2019. Towards a sustainable and efficient integrated dry ports network (IDPN): Mashreq countries as a case study. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering
AuthorsMohammad, R.
TypePhD Thesis

The Mashreq countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are facing significant risk of losing their geographical locations as a main transit corridor in Middle East. This is because of the emerging new alternative transit corridors that were raised and developed in the neighboring areas because of the unsettled political situation in the Mashreq region. Nonetheless, although the weak infrastructure connections between Mashreq countries and the fragile legislation environment, it cannot be left unsaid that the major reason behind these lost opportunities on transport and trade is an inefficient operation of the transport corridors network in the Mashreq region due to the lack of logistical services and projects at seaports.

Although all Mashreq governments revealed Dryports as inevitable solution to optimize the distribution of maritime containers and reduce congestion level at seaports, the coordination at the level of decision-makers to improve transport corridors and their operations was completely ignored. This research argues that Mashreq countries should act as one integrated body to save their role as the main transit corridor in the region. They should coordinate at their decision making level, in terms of establishing an integrated dry-ports network system. The limitations in previous network design models in addressing the communication between decisionKmakers in different countries had led to the introduction of a numbe of potential locations within one regional integrated network to bring in an opportunity to develop a new network design model. This can offer a flexible and standard platform that helps make a mutual decision that is not necessarily the optimum for each stakeholder, but it will be satisfied by every end-user.

This Thesis is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of applying an ontological approach to develop a new model to evaluate dry port location decision within a case study of Integrated Dry Ports Network (IDPN) in Mashreq countries. This proposed IDPN model helps to determine the best regional scenario of integrated dry ports network that adequately link the Mashreq countries transport corridors together, as well as the extensions of these corridors with its Mediterranean neighborhood transport corridors. An Integrated Dry Port Network (IDPN) model provides a sustainable allocation for the expected increase in container traffic at the region. (IDPN)is a comprehensive network design model based ontological approach to help evaluate dry port locations. It will adequately serve more than one seaport in two different countries. Furthermore, this research defined the role that Mashreq governments could play to facilitate the container allocation among their borders and beyond to enhance transportation corridors in the region.

An ontological approach is proposed because ontologies improve communication and re-use of knowledge by providing a shared understanding that reduces ambiguities and misunderstanding in the terminology adopted in a certain domain. They also support the engineering process of transport solutions by providing a basis for automated specification, analysis, and consistency in checking for alternatives.

First a source Ontology is designated in terms of container movement requirements within a regional hinterland, which depends on stakeholder objectives. Container Movement Route Ontology (CMRO) describes container movement routes for intermodal freight distribution within regional hinterland network. It is a semanticKbased representation of transport activities within regional network. It’s based on the presence of dry ports in a transportation system to formally define all available scenarios of containers routes which the decision makers should be aware of.

Qualitative and quantitative data were collected to essentially compare between two scenarios of container traffic distribution (a national (vs) regional), where operating strategies have been considered for both existing and planned dry ports interactions with two major containers seaports in the Mashreq region. These are the Latakia seaport in Syria and the Beirut seaport in Lebanon.

Finally, Minimum Cost Flow Mathematical model, was used to validate the developed ontological scenarios. The computational results obtained satisfied the proposed ontological model aimed to reduce transport cost and maintain a maximum flow.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
OnlineJul 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Aug 2019
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