The High Speed Potentiality in the Motorway of the Sea: a Modal Choice Model
F Russo, G Chilà, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, IT
The aims of this research are to construct a consignment model in order to simulate modal choice for national and international freight transport, and to assess variation in demand caused by the introduction of combined road-sea high speed mode.
In recent years, the prevalent use of road freight transport in Europe has led to higher accident risk, air pollution and a lower level of service. Though economically efficient for short distances and, to date, for perishable goods, this transport mode is not otherwise competitive. In a sustainable perspective it is important to find out why road transport is chosen and what factors can produce a readjustment among modal choices.
Recently new high speed ships have been produced for passenger transport that move with an average speed of 38-40 kn. Employment of these fast ships can represent an efficient alternative to road freight transport, supporting at the same time the development of motorways of the sea, introduced by the European Commission in its 2001 Transport White Paper. The European Commission has supported the elaboration of master plans for the development of motorways of the sea in the Baltic, Atlantic and Mediterranean (European Commission, 2006).
The aims of this research are:
?to construct a consignment model in order to simulate modal choice for national and international freight transport, among alternative traditional modes (road transport and railway) and combined modes (road-railway and road-sea through short sea shipping);
?to assess variation in demand caused by the introduction of combined road-sea high speed mode; the high speed in the motorways of the sea gives a real alternative for perishable and high value goods for a large number of states for which the alternative is accessible, see Mediterranean countries, Baltic, Persic Gulf, and so on.
The modal choice model is estimated using: disaggregate data, with attributes relative to freight classes and quantity, and service level parameters; unit of choice defined by single consignment; a behavioural approach, simulating modal choices through the Multinomial Logit model; a decision maker defined by the consignor firm.
The model is specified, calibrated and validated using two databases relative to sample surveys, for road and combined road ? sea transport modes, respectively, and a database relative to a total quantity of freight sent by rail all year round, for railway and combined road-rail transport modes. The databases refer to traffic flows obtained near the Straits of Messina.
The model proposed is validated through informal and formal tests. The model?s elasticity is evaluated as regards road price and time.
Finally, the combined road - sea high speed transport mode is introduced, supposing that it is available in the same ports, with new specialized terminals, considering as routes the current sea motorways.
The choice probabilities are evaluated among five modal alternatives: road transport; rail; combined road-rail; current combined road-sea; combined high speed road-sea on motorway of the sea.
The results obtained by model experimentation confirm that by introducing the high speed combined road-sea mode:
?a variation among modal choices is obtained, because the road choice probability decreases, thereby reducing road traffic;
?a new rate of freight demand is produced, due to travel time reduction, whit equal travel cost, or, alternatively, to travel cost reduction, with equal travel time.
Association for European Transport