ANALYSIS OF ROUTE CHOICE DETERMINANTS: AN APPLICATION FOR IRELAND SHIPMENTS TO CONTINENTAL EUROPE.



ANALYSIS OF ROUTE CHOICE DETERMINANTS: AN APPLICATION FOR IRELAND SHIPMENTS TO CONTINENTAL EUROPE.

Authors

MARIA FEO VALERO, INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS - UNIVERSITY JAUME I OF CASTELLON, AMAYA VEGA, SOCIO-ECONOMIC MARINE RESEARCH UNIT, J.E. CAIRNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY

Description

This paper aims to analyse the impact of the UK HGVs road charge on Irish freight transport demand.
Discrete choice models provide empirical evidence on the responsiveness of Irish exporters to changes in key freight transport attributes.

Abstract

Great Britain accounts for a large proportion of roll-on/roll-off volumes between Ireland and continental Europe. Such cargo movements have mainly relied on the British Land Bridge network, which has provided a very competitive and efficient service with a high degree of reliability and security. However recent UK transport policy developments have created a considerable level of uncertainty, particularly in relation to the new UK HGVs road charge introduced in 2014 and the impact this may have on freight transport demand in Ireland.

This paper aims to analyse the impact of the UK HGVs road charge on Irish ro/ro freight transport demand. In order to do so an efficient stated preference (SP) survey is undertaken to model the choice between two routes for maritime freight exports shipments from Ireland to France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany: one in which goods are shipped to the continent via the UK landbridge and the other in which goods are shipped direct to the continent without UK passage.

The population under study are Irish exporters using or having used the UK landbridge. Attributes considered in the SP experiment are cost, transit time, probability of delays, delays duration and service frequency. During the SP experiment interviewees were asked to point out their favourite alternative –the current one through the UK landbridge or the direct alternative- in the 12 scenarios presented. A pilot with 15 companies allowed the estimation of a preliminary model providing the parameter priors required in the construction of the final choice experiment. Providing as much realism as possible for the respondent was a source of concern in the experimental design phase. To achieve this, a catalogue of 30 possible cost levels according to the actual cost reported by the interviewee was created. This resulted in 30 individual choice experiments being constructed for the study. N-gene software (ChoiceMetrics, 2009) was used to build the efficient designs for a multinomial logit specification. Based on the information obtained from the pilot exercise and the in-depth interviews with exporters and freight transport service providers, it was found that there was a similarity in the levels of service offered by the various landbridge transport providers along the corridor under study. Therefore, the level of cost is the only attribute that varies across respondents in the SP experiment.

The data obtained from the fieldwork allowed estimating discrete choice models providing empirical evidence on the determinants of route decisions, contributing to the understanding of the demand for international freight transport services in Ireland and the responsiveness of Irish exporters to changes in key freight transport attributes.

Publisher

Association for European Transport