Internalisation of Transport Related Externalities: Impact on Logistics Systems
UMMENHOFER M, European Investment Bank
The conviction that negative external effects caused by transportation should be identified, monetised and intemalised, became very popular and is now largely accepted despite important obstacles that still persist. 2 The values attributed by different wo
The conviction that negative external effects caused by transportation should be identified, monetised and intemalised, became very popular and is now largely accepted despite important obstacles that still persist. 2 The values attributed by different works to the main external effects still differ, often due to methodological differences and heterogeneous contexts in which these evaluations took and take place. Nevertheless, a certain stabilisation can be observed.
There is a large consensus across most political orientations that the internalisation (in whatever form) of environmental externalities of goods transport will lead to a significant change in logistics systems and thus to a shift from road to rail and combined transport. Internalisation of freight transport externalities is therefore often considered to be a key element to at least stabilise the modal share of rail transport, or even a key element to move towards a sustainable transport system.
This paper presents research work aimed at evaluating the impact in France of a potential intemalisation of externalities on logistics systems and thus on modal split) One of the main conclusions is that even if the current methodological and practical problems related to the monetisation and internalisation of environmental externalities could be overcome, the overall impact of internalisation on modal split would be more than modest and would not allow modal split to be significantly reversed. Nevertheless, important changes are likely to take place in logistics systems for freight transport in urban areas. Although the research refers mainly to France, most of the results should be valid in a larger European context.
The first section presents the French freight transport sector, its evolution and the main environmental effects of land based freight transport. This is followed by a discussion of the external costs of freight transport with a special focus on road traffic. The third section introduces the subject of the impact of a possible internalisation of externalities and presents the framework and results of the plausibility analysis which was undertaken. The main results are summarised in the conclusion.
Association for European Transport