Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-60 : Toward a collaborative transportation for freight and passenger in a cyber-physical system

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    Computer scienceModelling tools
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Marne-La-Vallée
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


The development of smart technologies is deeply transforming both freight and passenger transportation systems. At the same time, the environmental pressure has never been so huge which is leading to a significant effort in order to modify both customers' practices and the way we travel. Our idea is to consider the opportunity of digitalization of urban logistics and transport to switch toward sustainable transportation systems which integrate both freight and passengers considering multi-modality in urban area. Thus, the idea is to improve the utilization rates of transport capacity which was initially dedicated to passengers by using the empty space to transport freight. Hence, this collaborative schema of transportation for both freight and passengers would improve the usage of transportation resources and infrastructure [2]. This is achieved by exploiting the traveling unused empty space in the different transportation modes in order to absorb a part of the freight transportation demand. This collaborative system has been identified as a promising way to reduce the negative impact of freight transportation in many cases. Indeed, the European Environment Agency [1] highlighted the significant increase of both passengers’ transport (17.3%) and freight one (24%) between 2000 and 2017.

Literature review

The integration of passenger and freight transport has acquired an important interest over the last five years, providing a range of heterogeneous works which is confirmed by the different names given to the same concept (collaborative transport, crowdshipping, integration, mixed transport, co-modality) [4]. Among these recent works, many of them report single- or multi-city implementations to demonstrate the concept feasibility. In [7], several European and Australian cities are evaluated in terms of their maturity to implement an integrating strategy. In [6], the authors also address this integration for the first and last mile and show the potential and efficiency of such a scheme by studying two cities: Venice in Italy and Velenje in Slovenia. Finally, some recent works highlight the ""servitization"" trend, which leads to an integration of products and services. The authors propose to consider this context as an opportunity to integrate freight transport into mobility as a service (Maas), which is a service dedicated to passengers offering a door-to-door mobility solution [8]. Finally, we can mention [3], who consider the optimization of the integration of the two flows (passengers and freight) considering the rail transport system in urban areas. The literature review shows a lack of quantitative methods for the integration of freight and passenger transport [5].

Thesis objective

There are two objectives, the first one is: i) to propose an architecture to support the decision making process in a collaborative transportation system where intelligent components interacted (passengers and parcels), ii) to propose adapted algorithms regarding the previous proposed architecture in order to optimize transport planning of both flows, while considering available capacity regarding the different transportation modes (subway, bus, vehicules).


The contributions of the thesis combine two fields of computer science discipline which are optimization and multi-agent simulation. The general framework of our propositions is relative to Cyber-Physical Systems (PCS) which presents a suitable concept adapted to integrate real data in the decision making process. In PCS, each component corresponds to a cyber physical entity with three capabilities (3C): communicate, control and compute. These features make each component intelligent and autonomous [9]. The application of this concept to transportation systems integrating freight and passengers could introduce an interesting reactivity to absorb disturbances which often occur at the operational level. However, it’s necessary to ensure a given level of global performance regarding environmental criteria (CO2 emissions, parcels footprint). Thus, the balance between global performance and local one is to be defined regarding the degree of reactivity and/or the accepted global performance deterioration.


[1] Agence Européenne d’Environnement, 2020. https://www.eea.europa.eu.

[2] W. Behiri, 2017. Thèse de doctorat : Une méthodologie pour modéliser et optimiser la mutualisation du transport ferroviaire urbain de marchandises et de passagers.

[3] W. Behiri, Belmokhtar-Berraf, S., Chu, C. (2018). Urban freight transport using passenger rail network: Scientific issues and quantitative analysis. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, vol 115, pp 227-245.

[4] F. Cavallaro, S. Nocera, 2021. Integration of passenger and freight transport: A concept-centric literature review, Research in Transportation Business & Management.

[5] S. H. Chung, 2021. Applications of smart technologies in logistics and transport: A review. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 153, 102455.

[6] F. Bruzzone, F. Cavallaro, S. Nocera, 2021. The integration of passenger and freight transport for first-last mile operations, Transport Policy, vol 100, pp 31-48.

[7] M. Kiba-Janiak, R. Thompson, K. Cheba, 2021. An assessment tool of the formulation and implementation a sustainable integrated passenger and freight transport strategies. An example of selected European and Australian cities, Sustainable Cities and Society, Vol 71, pp 102966.

[8] M. Le Pira, L. A. Tavasszy, G-H. de Almeida Correia, M. Ignaccolo, G. Inturri, 2021. Opportunities for integration between Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and freight transport: A conceptual model, Sustainable Cities and Society, Vol 74, pp 103212.

[9] S. Wang, J. Wan, D. Zhang, D. Li, C. Zhang, 2016. Towards smart factory for industry 4.0: a self-organized multi-agent system with big data based feedback and coordination. Computer Networks. Vol 101, pp 158–68."

International Mobility:

To be discussed with the PhD thesis supervisor.

More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).


Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr


Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Computer science: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
5, Boulevard Descartes

EURAXESS offer ID: 717591


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