Evaluation of Freight Corridor Mode Performance: A Literature Review

Bunker, Jonathan M. (2001) Evaluation of Freight Corridor Mode Performance: A Literature Review. Queensland University of Technology.


This report provides a review of the literature as a lead activity within the project Evaluation of Freight Corridor Mode Performance.

The project hypothesis is that the transport planning and freight transport decision making processes could be more well informed by developing a model that represents in detail the process of mode selection for corridor freight movements, using key performance indicators. The overall project aim is to develop a framework for such a model and is to include a freight corridor in Queensland as a case study.

The parties involved in the freight corridor mode selection system include:

. the freight customer; . the freight transport service provider; . the freight corridor access provider; . government regulators; and . external influences.

For each of the parties identified above, performance indicators that are used to assess mode performance are documented.

For the freight customer, a common set of determinants is established which could be applied to a general model applicable to freight mode and service provider selection for any freight transport task. It is recognised that their assigned value and weighting will vary between tasks.

For the service provider and access provider, sets of performance indicators are established for appraising productivity.

Government regularity performance indicators are identified under broader areas pertaining to environmental sustainability, safety, financial responsibility, and social amenity.

Further work is required to evaluate these mode choice determinants and performance indicators across all modes, and to rate and rank them on a sample corridor.

An understanding is provided on how the existing freight transport modes share the Australian freight task, which provided further insight into the corridor mode selection process. The market is broken down into three freight tasks; long distance bulk, long distance non-bulk, and urban and middle distance non-bulk. Rail dominates the long distance bulk market. Road and rail compete for the long distance non-bulk market, although road has a significantly higher market share due to service flexibility and reliability. The urban and middle distance non-bulk market is dominated by road due to its flexibility over rail and significantly better time performance.

Development of the mode choice determinants and performance indicators for freight corridor mode selection and analysis of a sample corridor will provide a means of better understanding of why the freight market is segmented in this manner.

Broad comparisons have been made between the principal freight transport modes of road and rail across a range of indicators, mostly from a government regulatory perspective. Rail provided better results when a full assessment of social costs and benefits is considered. However, the market forces and the fact that rail's profitability has been inferior to road have resulted in the present mode shares. It is important therefore to compare modes across all relevant determinants and performance indicators considering the viewpoint of all parties, in order to better understand the mode selection process.

The possible effects of technology and innovation are examined as background to this study. Weighting and value of performance indicators may vary considerably over time as a result of these effects.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 7816
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: freight, transport planning, transport evaluation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Deposited On: 22 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:41

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