Influence of the Qualitative Characteristics of Transport Supply on the Choice of Transport Mode

Influence of the Qualitative Characteristics of Transport Supply on the Choice of Transport Mode


Anna-Katharina Keck, M.Sc., Technische Universität Darmstadt Fachgebiet Bahnsysteme Und Bahntechnik


The preliminary features of transport choice models will be evaluated. A suitable metric for the missing definition of the parameter punctuality will be developed by merging data analysis with expert interviews.


The aspirated modal shift from road to rail has not yet been achieved despite numerous efforts of the German government and international commisions [Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaften, 2001]. In recent years, as well as the forecast for the upcoming years, the development and distribution of the freight transport service indicate a continuous strengthening of the road transportation share [Progtrans, 2007]. This development does not reconcile with sustainability expectations of neither politics, nor residents, nor the environment. It is expected that measures need to be taken to rise the quality and thereby attractiveness of rail transportation. Corrective measures can be divided into influencing supply or demand, whereby the overarching research issue in this case should result in a demand change concerning the freight transport mode. In order to evaluate the effects of infrastructure investments in the public and private sector and the effects of transport management measures of public authorities, modal split models are required. Furthermore the transport management measures of traffic demand control need to be depicted comprising their effects at company level. To evaluate these qualitative measures of traffic control with modal split models the quality characteristics of the transport supply have to be considered.

Data / Methodology
By merging existing data on stated- and revealed-preferences in demand patterns with supplementary interviews with experts, transport mode decision characteristics of shippers and freight forwarders are to be determined. In the expert survey, special attention is dedicated on the derivation of a definition and metrics to the model variable punctuality as to this point is none existing.

Results / Findings
Insights about the objectives and decision-making basis for the transportation mode choice by shippers and freight forwarders are expected. The preliminary features of transport choice models – like charges, time, availability, loss frequency and punctuality – will be evaluated. Until now, the parameter punctuality falsified results of existing models due to a lack of an exact metric definition. Therefore the work’s contribution is the development of a suitable metric by merging the data analysis with the expert interviews’ interpretations in order to amend this shortcoming.

Implications for Research / Policy
In summary, this work aims for describing the quality characteristics of transport supply and hence to determine and to quantify their influence on the choice of transport mode. Based on this work, further investigation of the integrity of the preliminary features of transport choice models is needed. The long-term goal is to achieve an improvement of the model’s results by adapting them to the needs and challenges of the transport market. It is necessary to integrate the imposed requirements for (intermodal) transport chains and their impact on the choice of transport into the modal choice models in order to facilitate the assessment of the possible success of measures addressing demand change.

Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaften (2001): Weissbuch - Die europäische Verkehrspolitik bis 2010: Weichenstellung für die Zukunft, Brüssel.
Progtrans (2007): Abschätzung der langfristigen Entwicklung des Güterverkehrs in Deutschland bis 2050, Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung, Basel.


Association for European Transport