PhD: Logistics Models for Improving the Efficiency of Ports and Inland Waterways

PhD: Logistics Models for Improving the Efficiency of Ports and Inland Waterways

Published Deadline Location
10 Mar 30 Apr Delft

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Job description

We are looking for a talented and ambitious PhD candidate to participate in the 21-partner H2020 project “NOVIMOVE: Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively”. We are as the TEL section coordinating this project, and collaborating with logistics operators, ports, system-developers and research organisations from 4 EU member states and two associate countries, including among others: University of Antwerp, MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands), Port of Rotterdam/Antwerpen, CoVadem, TNO, DST (Development Center for Ship Technology and Transport Systems), Marlo, ScandiNAOS.
Inland Waterborne Transport (IWT) advantages as low-energy and low CO2 emitting transport mode are not fully exploited today due to gaps in the logistics system. Inland container vessels pay 6-8 calls at seaport terminals with long waiting times. More time is lost by sub-optimal navigation on rivers and waiting at bridges and locks. In addition, low load factors of containers and vessels impact the logistics systems with unnecessary high numbers of containers being transported and trips being made. NOVIMOVE strategy is to “condense” the logistics system by improving container load factors and by reducing waiting times in seaports, by improved river voyage planning and execution, and by facilitating smooth passages through bridges and locks. NOVIMOVE’s innovations are: (1) cargo reconstruction to raise container load factors (2) mobile terminals feeding inland barges (3) smart river navigation by merging satellite (Galileo) and real time river water depths data (4) Smooth passage through bridges/locks by dynamic scheduling system for better corridor management along the TEN-T Rhine-Alpine (R-A) route (5) Concepts for innovative vessels that can adapt to low water condition while maintaining a full payload and (6). Close cooperation with logistic stakeholders, ports and water authorities along the R-A route: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Duisburg, Basel. NOVIMOVE technology developments will be demonstrated by virtual simulation, scaled model tests and full-scale demonstrations.

In this project, you will investigate how to develop a logistics model for container transport along the Rhine-Alpine corridor in order to evaluate the impact of NOVIMOVE innovations. You will contribute to the development of the innovations (1) and (2), namely cargo reconstruction for increasing the load factors and improved port operations by using mobile micro-terminals. In addition to these innovations, the logistics model will be used in order to evaluate other innovations developed by the collaborators. The evaluations of all the innovations will be done in comparison to a base case which will be the first step in this work to develop. You will closely work with researchers from University of Antwerp among other academic and industrial partners (i.e. System Navigator).


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are seeking an outstanding and enthusiastic researcher who has expertise and/or interest in one or more of the following areas:

  • Logistics Optimization and Simulation;
  • Inland Water Transportation;
  • Maritime and Hinterland Transportation;
  • Port Operations;
  • Transport Modelling.

You have obtained an MSc or an equivalent degree or expect to obtain an MSc soon in the fields of Logistics, Maritime Transport, Transport Modelling or related fields. A very good command of the English language and the ability to work in a team are critical. Programming skills are a plus as you will closely work with developers for the simulation model.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty at Delft University of Technology trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (M&TT) studies how to develop, design, build and operate marine, dredging and transport systems and their equipment. New generation transport and marine systems require the further development of the knowledge of the dynamics and the physical processes involved in transport, dredging and marine systems, the logistics of the systems and the interaction between the equipment and control systems.

The Transport Engineering and Logistics (TEL) section is part of the Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (M&TT) in the 3mE Faculty. The focus is on the development, design, construction and operation of transport systems and equipment. Education and research deals with transport-related topics that involve both technological and logistics issues. The combination of transport technology and logistics is considered one of the strong points of the TEL section.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3mE20-21


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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