OECD / International Transport Forum workshop on modal shift

OECD / International Transport Forum workshop on modal shift

International Workshop: Road freight efficiency versus freight modal split: reconciling environmental objectives

The International Transport Forum (ITF)[1] invites interested parties to a special workshop on reconciling environmental objectives in freight transport…

There is general agreement that to achieve deep reductions in carbon emissions from logistics it will be necessary to deploy a broad range of decarbonisation measures.  Two of the most important and widely-promoted measures, however, appear to be in conflict.  On the one hand, efforts are being made to improve the carbon efficiency of road transport, which is by far the dominant freight mode.  On the other, companies are being encouraged to shift freight from road to rail and waterborne transport because these modes have a much lower carbon intensity.  The conflict arises because efficiency improvements in road transport make it more competitive, frustrating the efforts of alternative modes to capture a larger share of the freight market.   This presents planners and policy-makers with a dilemma and complicates the development of decarbonisation strategies.

The workshop will examine ways of reconciling the apparent conflict between road efficiency improvements and modal split as decarbonisation options.  Fundamental to this reconciliation is the cross-elasticity of demand for road and rail / water-borne services –  in other words how sensitive is the demand for alternative, lower-carbon modes to variations in the price of road haulage.  Various attempts have been made by academics and consultants to quantify this cross-modal elasticity, but their estimates vary widely and cannot be easily extrapolated between national freight markets, industrial sectors and commodity types.

The formulation of decarbonisation, and wider environmental, strategies for the freight sector requires sets of accurate and robust elasticity values that are deemed to be credible by all the main stakeholder groups.

This workshop is an opportunity for academics and practitioners interested in freight transport and logistics to take part in a debate around these issues, to shape the research agenda on mode choice and to contribute to the current ITF project on high capacity freight transport.

The workshop will:

  • review the current state of knowledge on cross-modal elasticity
  • examine the past application of cross-modal elasticity values in freight planning
  • consider how the accuracy and validity of these elasticity values can be enhanced
  • discuss the opportunities for and barriers to future research in this field

The workshop will commence with four presentations by experts in the field of modal choice who will present background to the existing prediction methods.  This will be followed by breakout sessions in which alternative approaches to the estimation of cross-modal elasticities and modelling of road-rail competition will be discussed and research needs identified.  A panel discussion will bring the workshop to a close.

09:45Welcome – by ModeratorJerker Sjögren
09:55Welcome by representative of ITFRaimonds Aronietis
10:05Plenary session: IntroductionAlan McKinnon
10:15European perspective on modal split trends and researchLori Tavasszy
10:40Research on estimation of cross-elasticity of demandGerard deJong
11:20Research on modal split in SwedenInge Vierth
11:45Research on modal split in UKAlan Woodburn
12:10Dutch experience of modal splitOlaf Jonkeren
13:35Breakout session: Alternative approaches to predicting modal split
14:35Rapporteur feedback
15:15Panel discussion
  • Jerker Sjögren, Chair of OECD/ITF Working group on High Capacity Transport
  • John Woodrooffe, University of Michigan, USA
  • David Cebon, Cambridge University – United Kingdom
  • Alan McKinnon, Kühne Logistics University – Germany

The delegate fee of £50 will include:  meeting notes, refreshments, lunch.

  • Alan McKinnon is Professor of Logistics in the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg.  A graduate of the universities of Aberdeen, British Columbia and London, he has been researching and teaching in freight transport / logistics for over 35 years, has published extensively in journals and books and been an adviser to several governments, parliamentary committees and international organisations, including the OECD, the World Bank, the UN and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was the first chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Logistics and Supply Chain Council and chairman of the Transport Advisory Group of the EU Horizon 2020 research programme. Alan is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a recipient of its highest distinction, the Sir Robert Lawrence Award.
  • Inge Vierth is an experienced transport researcher in transport economics and modelling. Her main field of expertise are freight transport and logistics and transport policy. She is Senior Analyst at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI). Previously, she worked at the Swedish Institute for Transport and Communication Analysis (SIKA), the Swedish Transport and Communications Research Board (KFB) and the consultancy TFK+VTI Transportforschung in Hamburg. She is educated in business administration (Academy of Professional Studies at the Academy of Business Schleswig-Holstein in Flensburg) and economics (Kiel University and Hamburg University). Inge performed many national and international research projects related to all modes of transport.  She has also carried out several commissions for the Swedish government and public agencies. Inge was expert in the Committee Reviewing the Organisation of the Railway Sector in Sweden (2013-2015) and Swedish representative in OECD: s group on “Moving Freight with Better Trucks” (report published 2011). In addition, Inge is chairing the subject area “Freight transport and logistics” at the yearly national transport conference in Sweden and is member of the programme committee “Freight transport and logistics” at the European transport conference.
  • Dr. Gerard de Jong is Director at Significance BV and Research Professor at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. He did his MSc in Spatial Economics, his PhD in Econometrics in 1989, and has been working in transport modelling ever since.  He has been responsible for modelling work for several international, national and regional transport model systems.  Gerard led the project on the logistics model for Norway, Sweden and Denmark as part of their national freight transport models  and is involved in the development of freight transport models for The Netherlands, Flanders, the EU and the US. Together with Lori Tavasszy he edited and wrote the textbook: ’Modelling Freight Transport’ (Elsevier, 2013).  He has co-ordinated several studies on valuation of non-monetary effects, including the latest national Dutch study on the value of travel time and reliability in passenger and freight transport and projects for the European Investment Bank.
  • Lóránt Tavasszy  is full Professor in Freight Transport and Logistics at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He studied Civil Engineering at the TU Delft, with a specialisation in transport modelling. He completed his PhD thesis in 1996 on a strategic model of freight transport flows within Europe. He joined the Dutch national research institute TNO in 1996 where he acquired experience in logistics research and project management for Dutch and foreign clients. His key projects involved city, national and international freight systems, models and policy advice, but also concerned other topics concerning passenger transport modelling and climate adaptation of transport infrastructures. He held a part time chair at Nijmegen University from 2004 to 2009, subsequently joined the TU Delft part time and moved to a full time position in 2016. Professor Tavasszy has published over 40 scientific journal papers and is an active member of Transportation Research Board committees and the World Conference of Transport Research Society.
  • Allan Woodburn is Principal Lecturer in Freight and Logistics in the University of Westminster. He has more than 20 years’ experience of rail freight research and consultancy, including his Doctorate on the role of logistical structure in the development of rail freight services in Great Britain.  Allan has published widely in academic journals, written several book chapters and regularly presents his research findings at academic and industry conferences.  His key areas of expertise relate to rail freight policy, operations and sustainability and he has been involved in many other freight and logistics projects, giving him a detailed understanding of mode choice within the supply chain.  The main focus of Allan’s work has been on measuring and understanding operational efficiency and sustainability issues, together with trend analysis of the British rail freight market.
  • Olaf Jonkeren is a transport economist. He studied Logistics and Economics (BSc) at the University of Applied Science Haarlem and Economics at the VU University Amsterdam (MSc). At the VU University he also did his PhD on the economic effects of climate change on inland waterway transport, which he completed in 2009. Since then he has worked for the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and he is currently working as a senior researcher at KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, where he provides knowledge inputs for the preparation of mobility policy at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The focus of his research and modeling expertise lies in the field of freight transport, inland waterway transport, maritime transport, sea ports and critical infrastructures. He He has  produced about 15 scientific publications in journals and books.

If you have any questions, special requirements or would like further information, please email vl270@cam.ac.uk.