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Modal-split effects of climate change: The effect of low water levels on the competitive position of inland waterway transport in the river Rhine area

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Author Info

  • Jonkeren, Olaf
  • Jourquin, Bart
  • Rietveld, Piet

Abstract

Future climate change is expected to affect inland waterway transport in most main natural waterways in Europe. For the river Rhine it is expected that, in summer, more and longer periods with low water levels will occur. In periods of low water levels inland waterway vessels have to reduce their load factors and, as a result, transport prices per tonne will increase. One possible consequence of these higher transport prices is a deterioration of the competitive position of inland waterway transport compared with rail and road transport, and thus a change in modal split. We study this issue using a GIS-based software model called NODUS which provides a tool for the detailed analysis of freight transportation over extensive multimodal networks. We assess the effect of low water levels on the costs of transport operations for inland waterway transport in North West Europe under several climate scenarios. It turns out, that the effect on the modal split is limited. Under the most extreme climate scenario, inland waterway transport would lose about 5.4% of the quantity that is currently being transported annually in the part of the European inland waterway transport market considered. The very dry year of 2003 can be seen as an analogue for this scenario.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1007-1019

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1007-1019

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Related research

Keywords: Climate change; Inland waterway transport; Low water levels; NODUS; Modal split;

References

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  1. McCann, Philip, 2001. "A proof of the relationship between optimal vehicle size, haulage length and the structure of distance-transport costs," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 671-693, September.
  2. Crainic, Teodor Gabriel & Laporte, Gilbert, 1997. "Planning models for freight transportation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 409-438, March.
  3. M. Beuthe & Ch. Bouffioux, 2008. "Analysing Qualitative Attributes of Freight Transport from Stated Orders of Preference Experiment," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 42(1), pages 105-128, January.
  4. Ham, Heejoo & Kim, Tschangho John & Boyce, David, 2005. "Implementation and estimation of a combined model of interregional, multimodal commodity shipments and transportation network flows," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 65-79, January.
  5. Olaf Jonkeren & Piet Rietveld & Jos van Ommeren, 2007. "Climate Change and Inland Waterway Transport: Welfare Effects of Low Water Levels on the river Rhine," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 41(3), pages 387-411, September.
  6. Beuthe, Michel & Jourquin, Bart & Geerts, Jean-François & Koul à Ndjang' Ha, Christian, 2001. "Freight transportation demand elasticities: a geographic multimodal transportation network analysis," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 253-266, August.
  7. Saran Somanathan & Peter C Flynn & Jozef K Szymanski, 2007. "Feasibility of a Sea Route through the Canadian Arctic," Maritime Economics and Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(4), pages 324-334, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Iannone, Fedele, 2012. "The private and social cost efficiency of port hinterland container distribution through a regional logistics system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1424-1448.

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