container ship

Project aiming at reducing empty container positioning

A research collaboration between SSPA and Chalmers University of Technology aims at increasing transport efficiency, by understanding how empty container positioning can be reduced and made more efficient.

At present, there is excessive transport of empty containers in the Swedish transport system. Although movements of empty containers are needed due to different locations of recipients and senders of goods, as well as imbalances between inbound and outbound goods flows in specific geographical areas, practitioners and researchers indicate a large efficiency potential for both fewer unnecessary transports and the use of more energy efficient modes of transport. In this project, empty container positioning in Sweden will be quantified, work practices and decision-making described and explained. The efficiency potential will be calculated as well as improvements including organizational changes based on actors’ barriers and incentives suggested.

—To reduce empty container positioning, as well as making it more efficient, we need to reduce the actual distance that empty containers are being transported. We also need to make sure that the most efficient means of transport is being used when empty container positioning is necessary, says Vendela Santén at SSPA.

—Using railway and shipping rather than roads are more energy efficient modes of transport and can contribute to a considerable reduction of carbon emissions.

SSPA in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology:

Violeta Roso

Ceren Altuntas Vural 

Ivan Sanchez -Diaz 

Lokesh Kumar Kalahasthi 

Juan Pablo Castrellon 

  • Funded by the Swedish Energy Agency
  • Project period: 2020 - 2022

Read more: https://www.sspa.se/how/research/inland-waterway-transport-solutions-iwts/empty-container-positioning