Planning of transport through inland shipping is complex, highly dynamic and very specific. Existing software support is focusing on road transport planning and/or is merely a visual representation of shipments to be manually assigned to particular vessels. As a result inland shipment planning is time-consuming and highly relies on the personal skills of the planner. In this paper we present a business rules based model that aims to further support inland shipping organizations in their shipment planning by identifying the characteristics and constraints that are of interest and the related explicated business rules. The model is derived from transport-related literature, explorative expert interviews and transport management software vendors.
The usability and applicability of the model is subsequently successfully empirically tested using identified performance measures through a case study at a major European inland shipping broker