The Transshipment Problem

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
March 2009
June 2009
September 2009
Preliminary Analysis
Tour Structures

Primary Investigator

Alan Horowitz
Department of Civil Engineering and Mechanics
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
EMS E326
3200 North Cramer Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211


Virtually all available data on commodity shipments identify the origin and destination but not any transshipment points along the way. Transshipment has large implications for the provision of public infrastructure. A better macroscopic understanding of transshipment is needed. Within travel forecasting models the transshipment problem can be formulated as seeking the probability that a commodity with an origin at location A and a destination at location B has a transshipment point at location C. Transshipment has been studied extensively by researchers in logistics, but almost all those studies relate to improving the activities of an individual firm, rather than on the net effect of many firms acting within a whole economy.


Project proposes to develop a model for better macroscopic understanding and importance of transshipment which has not been identified in available data on commodity shipments.


  1. Literature review
  2. Cataloging the availability of data sets that include transshipment information, either explicitly or implicitly. The scale of analysis has not yet been determined, but would likely be at the state or multi-state level, with transshipment points defined at the county level.
  3. Concentrate on developing alternative mathematical models of transshipment and initiate statistical estimation of those models; it is likely that theories of travel behavior, which underpin our most sophisticated forecasts of passenger travel, will be the key paradigm for the estimation of parameters for those models.

Project Information

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Dates: October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2009
  • Budget: CFIRE: $48,000; Total: $96,000
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Multimodal
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-32
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