World Container Model (WCM)

From 2010 to 2011
In order to analyse possible shifts in future container transport and the impact of transport policies thereon, TNO developed a strategic model for the movement of containers on a global scale in partnership with the University of Delft and TML. The challenge was to design, estimate and validate a model that combines a consistent description of worldwide container flows and transportation services, combined with a port and route choice model.

The route and port choice procedure uses an improved logit choice model that takes overlaps between alternative routes in the network into account. This improvement is particularly important for the analysis of cases where routes compete against a network of existing routes (such as the trans-Siberian railway). The model takes transport times, tariffs and time sensitivity of goods into account. Transport volumes to and from all countries and more than 800 maritime container line services were taken into account to describe the yearly container flows over de world's shipping routes. The model distinguishes between import, export and transhipment flows of containers at ports, as well as hinterland flows.

The model is calibrated against publicly available port throughput statistics. Scenario analyses performed using the model include the effect of low speed shipping, increase of land based shipping costs, the impact of major infrastructures such as the trans-Siberian railway and the opening of Polar shipping routes. The model is being applied to develop long term forecasts within the European Commission's Trans European Networks programme and the Rotterdam Port Authority.


From 2010 to 2011





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Kristof Carlier
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