System reliability for a multistate intermodal logistics network with time windows

Yi Kuei Lin, Cheng Fu Huang, Yi Chieh Liao, Chih Ching Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Network structures have been diffusely adopted in logistics systems, where the most critical target is completing the delivery within the promised timeframe. This paper focuses on a single commodity in a multistate intermodal logistics network (MILN) with transit stations and routes to involve three parameters: a route’s capacity, delivery time and time window. There is a carrier along each route whose number of available containers is multistate because the containers can be occupied by other customers. The delivery time consisting of the service time, travel time and waiting time varies with the number of containers and vehicle type. The arrival time at the transit station should be within the time window, the interval between the earliest and latest acceptable arrival times. This paper evaluates the system reliability, the probability that the MILN can successfully deliver sufficient amount of the commodity to meet market demand via several transit stations under the delivery time threshold and time windows. The system reliability can be treated as a delivery performance index and is evaluated with a proposed algorithm in terms of minimal paths. A practical case of scooter parts distribution between Taiwan and China is presented to emphasise the management implications of system reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1957-1969
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2017


  • delivery performance
  • multistate intermodal logistics network (MILN)
  • system reliability
  • time threshold
  • time window
  • transit station

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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