Transportation Modes & Transport Terminals


 

 

4    Transportation modes

 

 

 

Transportation  modes are an essential component of transport systems since they are the means by which mobility is supported. Geographers consider a wide range of modes that may be grouped into three broad categories  based on the medium they exploit: land, water and air. Each mode has its own requirements and features, and is adapted to serve the specific demands of freight and passenger traffic. This gives rise to marked differences  in the ways the modes are deployed and utilized in different parts of the world. Recently, there is a trend towards integrating the modes through intermodality and linking the modes ever more closely into production  and distribution  activities. At the same time, however,  passenger  and freight activity  is becoming  increasingly separated across most modes.

 

 

Concept  1 – A diversity of modes

 

Transport modes are the means by which people and freight achieve mobility. They fall into one of three basic types, depending on what surface they travel over: land (road, rail and pipelines), water (shipping), and air. Each mode is characterized  by a set of technical, operational and commercial characteristics (see Figure 4.1).

 

 

Road  transportation

 

This has become the dominant land transport system today. Automobiles, buses and trucks require a road bed. Such infrastructures are moderately expensive to provide, but there is

 

 

Vehicle

Capacity

1 Barge  Equivalency

 

 

 

Barge

  1500 Tons

52,500  Bushels

453,600  Gallons

   

1

 

 

15 barges on tow

  22,500  Tons

787,500  Bushels

6,804,000 Gallons

   

0.06

 

 

Hopper car

  100 Tons

3,500 Bushels

30,240  Gallons

   

15

 

 

100  car  train unit

  10,000  Tons

350,000  Bushels

3,024,000 Gallons

   

0.15

 

Semi-trailer truck

  26 Tons

910 Bushels

7,865 Gallons

   

57.7

 

Figure 4.1    Performance comparison for selected freight modes

 

 

a wide divergence of costs, from a gravel road to a multi-lane urban expressway. Because vehicles have the means to climb moderate slopes, physical obstacles are less important than for some other land modes. Most roads are provided as a public good by governments, while the vast majority of vehicles are owned privately. The capital costs, therefore, are shared, and do not fall as heavily on one source as is the case for other modes.

All road transport modes have limited abilities to achieve scale economies. This is due to the size constraints imposed by governments  and also by the technical and economic  limits of the power sources.  In most jurisdictions,  trucks and buses have specific weight and length restrictions which are imposed for safety reasons. In addition, there are serious limits on the traction capacities of cars, buses and trucks because of the considerable increases in energy consumption that accompany increases in the weight of the unit. For these reasons the carrying capacities  of individual  road vehicles are limited.

Road transport,  however,  possesses  significant  advantages  over other modes. The capital cost of vehicles is relatively small. This produces several key characteristics of road transport. Low vehicle costs make it comparatively easy for new users to gain entry, which helps ensure that the trucking industry, for example, is highly competitive. Low capital costs also ensure that innovations and new technologies can diffuse quickly through the industry. Another advantage of road transport is the high relative speed of vehicles, the major constraint being government-imposed  speed limits. One of its most important attributes is the flexibility of route choice, once a network of roads is provided. Road transport has the unique opportunity of providing door-to-door service for both passengers and freight. These multiple advantages have made cars and trucks the modes of choice for a great number of trip purposes, and have led to the market dominance of cars and trucks for short-distance trips.

The success of cars and trucks has given rise to a number of serious problems. Road congestion has become a feature of most urban areas around the world (see Chapters 7 and 10). In addition, the mode is behind many of the major environmental externalities linked  to  transportation  (see  Chapter  8).  Addressing  these  issues  is  becoming  an important policy challenge at all levels of jurisdiction, from the local to the global (see Chapter 9).

 

 

Rail transportation

 

Railways require tracks along which the locomotives  and rail cars move. The initial capital costs are high because the construction of rail tracks and the provision of rolling stock are expensive. Historically, the investments have been made by the same source (either governments or the private sector). These expenditures have to be made before any revenues  are realized  and thus represent  important  entry barriers  that tend to limit the number of operators. It also serves to delay innovation, compared with road transport, since rail rolling stock has a service life of at least twenty years.

Railway  routing  is  affected  by  topography  because  locomotives   have  limited capacities  to  mount  gradients.  As  a result,  railways  either  avoid  important  natural barriers or overcome them by expensive engineering  solutions. An important feature of rail systems is the width of the rails. The standard gauge of 1.4351 meters has been adopted in many parts of the world, across North America and most of Western Europe for example. But other gauges have been adopted in other areas. This makes integration of rail services very difficult, since both freight and passengers are required to change from one railway system to the other. As attempts are being made to extend rail services across continents and regions, this is an important obstacle, as for example between France and Spain, Eastern and Western Europe, and between Russia and China. The

 

 

potential of the Eurasian land bridge is limited in part by these gauge differences. Other factors that inhibit the movement of trains between different countries include signaling and electrification  standards.  These are particular  problems  for the European  Union where the lack of “interoperability” of the rail systems between the member states is a factor limiting the wider use of the rail mode.

The ability of trains to haul large quantities of goods and significant numbers of people over long distances is the mode’s primary asset. Once the cars have been assembled or the passengers have boarded, trains can offer a high speed – high capacity service. It was this feature that led to the train’s pre-eminence  in opening the interior of the continents in the nineteenth  century, and is still its major asset. Passenger service is effective where population densities are high. Freight traffic is dominated by bulk cargo shipments,  agricultural  and industrial  raw materials  in particular.  Rail transport  is a “green” system, in that its consumption of energy per unit load per km is lower than road modes.

Although sometimes identified as a mode that enjoyed its heyday during the nineteenth century, rail transport is enjoying a resurgence because of technological advances in the latter part of the twentieth century. In passenger transport this has come about through significant breakthroughs  in speed. For instance, in Europe and Japan high-speed rail systems reach speeds up to 515 km/hr. This gives rail a competitive advantage over road transport and even with air transport over short and medium distances (see Figure 4.2). Japan saw the first comprehensive  development of a high-speed train system, notably used along the Tokyo–Osaka corridor in 1964. By the 1990s, the usage of the system had peaked, in part because of competition  from air transport.  Europe has been the region where the adoption of the high-speed train has been the most significant since the

1990s. Close to a half of all the world’s high-speed passengers-km are now occurring in Europe. South Korea is the latest country to build a high-speed rail system along the Seoul–Pusan corridor, which was inaugurated in 2004.

Unit trains, where trains are made up of wagons carrying one commodity-type only, allow  scale economies  and efficiencies  in bulk shipments,  and double  stacking  has greatly promoted the advantages of rail for container shipments. Rail transport is also enjoying a resurgence as a mode for commuters in many large cities.

 

 

Pipelines

 

Pipelines are an extremely important and extensive mode of land transport, although very rarely appreciated or recognized by the general public, mainly because they are

 

 

140

 

120

 

Europe

Japan

 

 

100

 

80

 

60

 

40

 

20

 

0

 

 

Figure 4.2    Development of high-speed train traffic, Europe and Japan, 1965–2000

 

 

buried underground (or under the sea as in the case of gas pipelines from North Africa to Europe). In the USA, for example, there are 409,000 miles of pipelines that carry 17 percent of all ton/miles of freight. The longest oil pipeline is the TransSiberian, extending over 9,344 km to Western Europe from the Russian arctic oilfields in eastern Siberia. Two main products dominate pipeline traffic: oil and gas, although locally pipelines are significant for the transport of water, and in some rare cases for the shipment of dry bulk commodities, such as coal in the form of slurry.

Pipelines are almost everywhere designed for a specific purpose only, to carry one commodity from one location to another. They are built largely with private capital and because the system has to be in place before any revenues are generated, represent a significant  capital commitment.  They are effective  in transporting  large quantities of products  where no other feasible means of transport  (usually  water) is available. Pipeline routes tend to link isolated areas of production with major centers of refining and manufacture in the case of oil, or major populated areas, as in the case of natural gas.

The routing  of pipelines  is largely indifferent  to terrain, although  environmental concerns  frequently  delay  approval  for construction.  In sensitive  areas,  particularly in arctic/sub-arctic  areas where the pipes cannot be buried because of permafrost, the impacts on migratory  wildlife may be severe, and be sufficient to deny approval, as was the case of the proposed McKenzie Valley pipeline in Canada in the 1970s. The

1,300 km long Trans Alaskan pipeline was built under difficult conditions and is above the ground for most of its path. Geo-political factors play a very important role in the routing of pipelines that cross international boundaries. Pipelines from the Middle East to the Mediterranean have been routed to avoid Israel, and new pipelines linking Central Asia with the Mediterranean  are being routed in response to the ethnic and religious mosaic of the republics in the Caucasus.

Pipeline construction costs vary according to the diameter of the pipe and increase proportionally with the distance and with the viscosity of the fluid (need for pumping stations). Operating costs are very low, however, and as mentioned above, pipelines represent a very important mode for the transport of liquid and gaseous products. One major disadvantage  of pipelines  is the inherent inflexibility  of the mode. Once built (usually at great expense), expansion of demand is not easily adjusted to. There exist specific limits to the carrying capacity. Conversely,  a lessening of supply or demand will produce  a lowering  of revenues  that may affect  the viability  of the system. A further limit arises out of geographical shifts in production or consumption, in which a pipeline having been built from one location to another may not be able to easily adjust to changes. For example, the refineries in Montreal, Canada, were served by a pipeline from Portland, Maine in order to receive shipments year-round because of ice on the St. Lawrence River. In the 1980s a pipeline from western Canada was built to provide domestic crude oil at a time when the price of the international supply was escalating. Since then the Portland pipeline has been lying idle.

 

 

Water  transportation

 

Shipping exploits the water routes that cross oceans as well as rivers and lakes. Many of the oceanic routes are in international waters and are provided at no cost to the users. In many coastal  and inland  waters  too shipping  lanes are “free”,  although  national regulations may exclude foreign vessels from cabotage trade. Physical barriers represent a particular problem for shipping in two areas. First are the sections of inland waterways where water depths and/or rapids preclude navigation. The second is where land barriers separate seas. In both cases canals can provide access for shipping, but they may be

 

 

tolled. An example of the first type is the St. Lawrence Seaway, while the Suez and Panama canals are examples of the latter. Thus, except for canals, shipping enjoys rights of way that are at no cost to the users. Complementing this advantage are the relatively low operating costs of ships. Ships have the ability to carry large volumes with small energy consumption and limited manpower requirements. Shipping, therefore, is a mode that can offer very low rates compared with other modes.

Even if maritime transportation has experienced remarkable improvements in safety and reliability, maritime routes are still hindered by dominant winds, currents and general weather patterns. The North Atlantic and the North Pacific (50 to 60 degrees north) are subject to heavy wave activity during the winter that sometimes impairs navigation, and may cause ships to follow routes at lower latitudes, thereby increasing the route lengths (see Figure 4.3). During the summer monsoon season (April to October), navigation may become more hazardous on the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

Rivers  may not be useful  for commercial  navigation  if their orientations  do not correspond  to the directions of transport demand. Thus, many of the major rivers of Russia  flow  north–south,  while  the  main  trade  and  passenger  flows  are  east–west. Shallow  draught  and extensive  obstacles,  such as rapids, may also limit navigation. However, many rivers, such as the Rhine or the Chang Jiang, are significant arteries for water transport because they provide access from the oceans to inland markets (see Figure 4.3).

Shipping  has  traditionally  faced  two  drawbacks.  It is slow,  with  speeds  at sea averaging 15 knots (26 km/h). Secondly, delays are encountered in ports where loading and unloading  takes  place. The latter  may involve  several  days of handling.  These drawbacks  are particularly  constraining  where  goods  have  to be moved  over  short distances or where shippers require rapid service deliveries. There are four broad types of ships employed around the world.

 

Passenger  vessels  can be further  divided  into two categories:  passenger  ferries, where people are carried across relatively  short bodies of water in a shuttle-type

service, and cruise ships, where passengers  are taken on vacation trips of various durations, usually over several days. The former tend to be smaller and faster vessels, the latter are usually very large capacity ships.

Bulk carriers are ships designed to carry specific commodities, and are differentiated

into liquid bulk and dry bulk vessels. They include the largest vessels afloat. The

largest tankers, the Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) are up to 500,000 deadweight

 

 

 

 

 

St. Lawrence / Great Lakes

Rhine / Ruhr / Danube

 

Bosporus

Yangtze Chang Jiang Perl

 

Mississippi

 

 

Panama

 

Amazon

Gibraltar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nile

Suez

 

Hormuz

 

Bab el-Mandab

 

 

Mekong

 

 

 

Malacca

 

 

 

Good Hope

 

Magellan

 

Figure 4.3    Domains of maritime transport

 

 

tons (dwt), with the more typical size being between 250,000 and 350,000 dwt; the largest  dry bulk carriers  are around  350,000  dwt, while the more typical  size is between 100,000 and 150,000 dwt.

General cargo ships are vessels designed to carry non-bulk cargoes. The traditional

ships were less than 10,000 dwt, because of extremely slow loading and off-loading.

More recently these vessels have been replaced by container ships that because they can be loaded more efficiently are becoming much larger, with 80,000 dwt being the largest today.

Roll on – roll off (RORO) vessels, which are designed to allow cars, trucks and

trains to be loaded directly on board. Originally appearing as ferries, these vessels

are used on deep-sea trades and are much larger than the typical ferry. The largest are the car carriers that transport vehicles from assembly plants to the main markets.

 

The distinctions in vessel types are further differentiated by the kinds of services on which they are deployed. Bulk ships tend to operate either on a regular schedule between two ports or on voyage basis. In the latter case the ship may haul cargoes between different ports based on demand. General cargo vessels operate on liner services, in which the vessels are employed on a regular scheduled service between fixed ports of call, or as tramp ships, where the vessels have no schedule and move between ports based on cargo availability.

An important  feature of the economics  of shipping  is the capital costs. Because of their size, ships represent  a significant  capital  outlay.  Cruise  ships represent  the most expensive  class of vessels,  with the Queen  Mary  2 costing  $800 million,  but even container ships represent initial capital outlays of $75 million. The annual cost of servicing the purchase of these vessels represents the largest single item of operating expenditures, typically accounting for over half of the annual operating costs. Container shipping requires the deployment of many vessels to maintain a regular service (14 ships in the case of a typical Far East – Europe service), which is a severe constraint on the entry of new players. On the other hand, older second-hand vessels may be purchased for much smaller amounts, and sometimes the purchase price can be easily covered by a few successful voyages. In some regards, therefore, the shipping industry is quite open and historically has provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to accumulate large fortunes. Many of the largest fleets are in private hands, owned by individuals or by family groups.

The shipping industry has a very international character. This is reflected particularly in terms of ownership and flagging. The ownership of ships is very broad. While a ship may be owned by a Greek family or a US corporation, it may be flagged under another nationality. Flags of convenience  are means by which ship owners can obtain lower registration fees, lower operating costs and fewer restrictions.

The share of open registry ships operated under a flag of convenience grew substantially after World War II. They accounted for 5 percent of world shipping tonnage in 1950, 25 percent in 1980, and 45 percent in 1995. The usage of a flag of convenience refers to a national owner choosing to register one or more vessels in another nation in order to avoid higher regulatory and manning costs. This enables three types of advantages for the ship owners:

 

Regulation. Under maritime law, the owner is bound to the rules and regulations of the country of registration, which also involves requisitions in situation of emergency

(war, humanitarian crisis, etc.). Being subject to less stringent regulations commonly confers considerable savings in operating costs.

 

 

Registry costs. The state offering a flag of convenience is compensated according to the ship’s tonnage. Registry costs are on average between 30 and 50 percent lower

than those of North America and Western Europe.

Operating costs. Operating costs for open registry ships are from 12 to 27 percent

lower  than  for  traditional  registry  fleets.  Most  of the  savings  come  from  lower

manning  expenses.  Flags of convenience  have much lower standards  in terms of salary and benefits.

 

The countries with the largest registered fleets offer flags of convenience (Panama, Liberia, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and the Bahamas) and have very lax regulations (see Figure 4.4). Ship registry is a source of additional income for these governments. Even the landlocked country of Mongolia offers ship registry services.

An important historic feature of oceanic liner transport is the operation of conferences. These are formal agreements between companies engaged on particular trading routes. They fix the rates charged by the individual lines, operating for example between Northern Europe and the East Coast of North America, or eastbound between Northern Asia and the West Coast of North America. Over the years in excess of 100 such conference arrangements have been established. While they may be seen as anti-competitive,  the conference  system has always escaped prosecution  from national anti-trust agencies. This is because they are seen as a mechanism to stabilize rates in an industry that is inherently unstable, with significant variations in supply of ship capacity and market demand. By fixing rates, exporters are given protection from swings in prices, and are guaranteed a regular level of service provision (Brooks, 2000). Firms compete on the basis of service provision rather than price. A new form of inter-firm organization has emerged in the container shipping industry since the mid-1990s. Because the costs of providing ship capacity to more and more markets are escalating beyond the means of many carriers, many of the largest shipping lines have come together by forming strategic alliances with erstwhile competitors. They offer joint services by pooling vessels on the main commercial  routes. In this way they are each able to commit fewer ships to a particular service route, and deploy the extra ships on other routes that are maintained outside the alliance. The alliance services are marketed separately,  but operationally involve close cooperation in selecting ports of call and in establishing schedules. The alliance structure has led to significant developments in route alignments and economies of scale of container shipping (Slack, 2004).

 

 

China                                                                                                                    Tanker

 

Hong Kong Norway (NIS) Singapore

Cyprus Malta Bahamas

Greece

Liberia

Panama

Dry Bulk Container Other

 

 

0          20,000     40,000     60,000     80,000    100,000   120,000   140,000   160,000   180,000   200,000

 

Figure 4.4    Tonnage by country of registry, 2003

 

 

Air transportation

 

Air transport, compared with other modes, has the obvious advantage of speed. This feature has served to offset many of its limitations, among which operating costs, fuel consumption and limited carrying capacities are the most significant. Technology has worked to overcome some of the constraints, most notably the growth of capacity, in which aircraft will soon be capable of transporting 500 passengers or 100 tons of freight. Technology has also significantly extended the range of aircraft, so that while 40 years ago aircraft were just beginning to be capable of crossing the Atlantic without stopping at intermediate places such as Newfoundland, they are now capable of making trips of up to 18 hours duration. Surprisingly, the speed of commercial aircraft has not progressed since the 1960s, when the prospect of supersonic speed was being anticipated with the development of the Anglo-French Concorde, which was removed from service in 2003. Figure 4.5 shows the ranges of three major categories of jet planes:

 

Regional. The airbus A320, with a range of 3,700 km, was designed to service destina- tions within a continent. From New York, most of North America can be reached.

This range can be applied to the European continent, South America, East Asia and Africa. This type of aircraft is also used for high demand regional services needing several flights a day, enabling to improve the quality of service.

International. The Boeing 777-100, with a range of 7,400 km, can link one continent

to another. From New York, it is possible to reach Western Europe and most of South

America.

Intercontinental. The Boeing 747-400, with a range of 11,400 km, can reach from

New York any destination around the world except Australia, South and Southeast

Asia. Japan is within range.

 

Air transport  makes use of air space that theoretically  gives it great freedom  of route choice. While the mode is less restricted than land transport to specific rights of way, it is nevertheless much more constrained than might be supposed. In part this is due to physical conditions, in which aircraft seek to exploit (or avoid) upper atmospheric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4.5    Range from New York of different modern commercial jet planes

 

 

winds, in particular the jet stream, to enhance speed and reduce fuel consumption. In addition, specific corridors have been established in order to facilitate navigation and safety. Strategic and political factors also influence route choice. For example, the flights of South African Airways were not allowed to over-fly many African nations during the apartheid period, and Cubana Airlines has been routinely prohibited from over-flying the USA.

Like  maritime  transport,  the  airline  industry  is  highly  capital  intensive.  For instance, a new Boeing 747-400, used for high-volume and long-distance travel, costs approximately $200 million, depending on the configuration, and a new Boeing 737-800, used for regional flights, costs about $60 million. However, unlike the maritime sector, air transportation  is labor intensive,  with limited room to lower labor requirements, although  many airlines are now trying to reduce labor costs by cutting salaries and benefits. The industry has become a powerful factor of development, generating globally more than $700 billion in added value and creating more than 21 million jobs.

The initial development of air transportation took place in the 1920s and 1930s, not always for commercial reasons (Graham, 1995). It was seen as a means of providing a national air mail service (US) and of establishing long-haul air services to colonies and dependencies (UK and France). Airline companies were set up to provide these national goals, a trend that continued in the post-colonial period of the 1950s to the 1970s, as many African, Asian and Caribbean nations created their own airline companies while reserving them for specific markets and for specific routes. By convention, an air space exclusively belongs to the country under it, and this has led to significant government control over the industry.

Traditionally, an airline needs the approval of the governments of the various countries involved before it can fly in or out of a country, or even across another country without landing. Prior to World War II, this did not present too many difficulties since the range of commercial  planes  was limited  and air transport  networks  were in their infancy and nationally  oriented.  In 1944,  an International  Convention  was held in Chicago to establish the framework for all future bilateral and multilateral agreements for the use of international air spaces. Five freedom rights were designed, but a multilateral agreement went only as far as the first two freedoms (right to over-fly and right to make a technical stop).

Freedoms are not automatically granted to an airline as a right, they are privileges that  have  to be  negotiated.  All  other  freedoms  have  to be  negotiated  by  bilateral agreements, such as the 1946 agreement between the United States and the UK, which permitted limited “fifth freedom” rights. The 1944 Convention has been extended since then, and as shown in Figure 4.6 there are currently nine different freedoms:

 

First Freedom. The right to fly from a home country over another country (A) en- route to another (B) without landing. Also called the transit freedom.

Second Freedom. The right for a flight from a home country to land in another country

(A) for purposes other than carrying passengers, such as refueling, maintenance or

emergencies. The final destination is country B.

Third  Freedom.  The right to carry passengers  from a home country  to another

country (A) for purpose of commercial services.

Fourth Freedom. The right to fly from another country (A) to a home country for

purpose of commercial services.

 

The Third and Fourth Freedoms are the basis for direct commercial services, providing the rights to load and unload passengers, mail and freight in another country.

 

 

First

 

Home

Country B

 

 

Country  A

   

Second

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third

 

 

Fourth

   

Fifth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixth

 

Seventh

   

Eighth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ninth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4.6    Air freedom rights

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifth Freedom.  This freedom  enables  airlines  to carry passengers  from a home country to another intermediate country (A), and then fly on to a third country (B)

with the right to pick up passengers  in the intermediate  country. Also referred to as “beyond right”. This freedom is divided into two categories: Intermediate  Fifth Freedom Type is the right to carry from the third country to the second country. Beyond Fifth Freedom Type is the right to carry from the second country to the third country.

Sixth Freedom. Not formally part of the original 1944 convention, it refers to the

right to carry passengers  between two countries  (A and B) through an airport in

the home country. With the hubbing function of most air transport networks, this freedom has become more common, notably in Europe (London, Amsterdam).

Seventh  Freedom.  Covers  the right to operate  a passenger  service  between  two

countries (A and B) outside the home country.

Eighth Freedom. Also referred to as “cabotage” privileges. It involves the right to

move passengers on a route from a home country to a destination country (A) that

uses more than one stop along which passengers may be loaded and unloaded.

Ninth Freedom. Also referred to as “full cabotage” or “open-skies”  privileges. It

involves  the right of a home country to move passengers  within another country

(A).

 

In the 1970s, the perspective changed and air transport was increasingly seen as just another transport service. Market forces were considered to be the mechanism for fixing prices and it became widely accepted that airline companies should be given freedom within national markets to decide the nature and extent of their services, while the role of governments should be limited to operational and safety regulations. In the United States, the Air Deregulation Act of 1978 put an end to fixed markets and opened the

 

 

industry to competition. This liberalization process has spread to many other countries, although  with important  local distinctions.  Many of the former  private  firms in the USA and many former state-owned airlines elsewhere that were heavily protected and subsidized,  went bankrupt or have been absorbed by larger ones. Many new carriers have emerged, with several low-cost carriers such as Ryan Air and South-West Air, having achieved industry leadership. Internationally, air transport is still dominated by bi-lateral agreements between nations (Graham, 1995).

As  in  the  case  of  ocean  shipping,  there  has  been  a significant  development  of alliances in the international  airline industry. The alliances are voluntary agreements to enhance  the competitive  positions  of the partners.  Members  benefit from greater scale economies, a lowering of transaction costs and a sharing of risks, while remaining commercially  independent. The first major alliance was established in 1989 between KLM  and  North West Airlines.  The  “Star”  alliance  was  initiated  in 1993  between Lufthansa  and  United  Airlines.  In  1996,  British  Airlines  and  American  Airlines formed the “One World” alliance. Other national carriers have joined different alliance groupings. They cooperate on scheduling,  code sharing, equipment  maintenance  and schedule integration. It permits airlines that may be constrained by bi-lateral regulations to offer a global coverage (Agusdinata and de Klein, 2002).

Prior to deregulation movements (end of 1970s–early 1980s), many airline services were taking place on a point-to-point  basis. Figure 4.7 shows two airline companies servicing  a network  of major cities. A fair amount  of direct connections  exists, but mainly at the expense of the frequency of services and high costs (if not subsidized). Also, many cities are serviced, although differently, by the two airlines and connections are likely to be inconvenient. With deregulation, a system of hub-and-spoke networks emerges as airlines rationalize the efficiency of their services. A common consequence is that each airline assumes dominance  over a hub and services are modified so the two hubs are connected  to several spokes.  Both airlines tend to compete  for flights between their hubs and may do so for specific spokes, if demand warrants it. However, as this network matures, it becomes increasingly difficult to compete at hubs as well as at spokes, mainly because of economies  of agglomeration.  As an airline assumes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Deregulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Deregulation

 

 

 

Hub

 

Hub

 

 

 

Figure 4.7    Airline deregulation and hub-and-spoke networks

 

 

dominance  of a hub, it reaches  oligopolistic  (if not monopolistic)  control  and may increase airfares for specific segments. The advantage of such a system for airlines is the achievement of a regional market dominance and higher plane loads, while passengers benefit from better connectivity (although delays for connections and changing planes are more frequent) and lower costs.

Air transport is extremely important for both passenger and freight traffic. In 2000, 1.4 billion passengers traveled by air transport, representing the equivalent of 23 percent of the global population. Passenger traffic is made up of business travelers and the general public, many of whom are holiday-makers. Air transport is a very significant factor in the growth of international tourism. Figure 4.8 indicates the continued domination of US carriers in passenger transport.

In 2000, 30 million tons of freight was transported, a figure that represents one third of the value of all international  trade. This freight traffic is made up of electronics, parcels and parts with a high value-to-weight ratio that are at the heart of contemporary just-in-time  and of flexible  production  systems.  Freight  is carried  in the belly-hold of passenger airplanes, and provides supplementary income for airline companies. However, with the growth of the freight traffic an increasing share is being accounted for by all-cargo planes and specialized air freight carriers, either as independent companies or as separate ventures by conventional passenger carriers (see Figure 4.9).

 

 

Modal  competition

 

A general analysis of transport modes reveals that they each possess key operational and commercial advantages and properties. Modes can compete or complement each other in terms of cost, speed, reliability, frequency, safety, comfort, etc. Cost is one of the most important considerations in the choice of mode. Because each mode has its own price/performance profile, the actual competition between the modes depends primarily upon the distance traveled, the quantities that have to be shipped and the value of the goods. Thus, while maritime transport might offer the lowest variable costs, over short distances and for small bundles of goods, road transport tends to be most competitive. A critical factor is the terminal cost structure for each mode, where the costs (and delays) of loading and unloading the unit impose fixed costs that are incurred independent of

 

 

British Airways

 

Air France All Nippon Airways Continental Airlines Lufthansa

US Airways Northwest Airlines United Airlines American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

 

0            20,000       40,000       60,000       80,000      100,000     120,000

 

Figure 4.8    World’s 10 largest passenger airlines, 2000 (in 1,000 passengers) (Source: IATA, World

Air Transport Statistics)

 

 

 

Air France British Airways Northwest Airlines Cathay Pacific Singapore Airlines Japan Airlines Lufthansa

Korean Air Lines

 

United Parcel Service

 

Federal Express

 

0                1,000             2,000             3,000             4,000             5,000

 

Figure 4.9    World’s 10 largest freight airlines, 2000 (in 1,000 tonnes)

 

the distance traveled (see Chapter 5). As shown in Figure 4.10, different transportation modes have different cost functions. Road, rail and maritime transport have respectively C1, C2, and C3 cost functions. While road has a lower cost function for short distances, its cost function climbs faster than rail and maritime cost functions. At a distance D1, it becomes more profitable to use railway transport than road transport while from a distance  D2, maritime  transport  becomes  more advantageous.  Point D1 is generally located between 500 and 750 km of the point of departure while D2 is near 1,500 km.

With increasing levels of income the propensity for people to travel rises. At the same time, international trade in manufactured goods and parts has increased. These trends in travel demand act differentially upon the modes. The modes that offer faster and more reliable services gain over modes that offer a lower cost, but slower, alternative.  For passenger services, rail has difficulty in meeting the competition of road transport over short distances and aircraft for longer trips. For freight, rail and shipping have suffered from competition from road and air modes for high value shipments. While shipping, pipelines and rail still perform well for bulkier shipments, intense competition over the last thirty years has seen road and air modes capture an important market share of the high revenue-generating goods. Figure 4.11 shows the modal split in one major market region, where trucks dominate, particularly in terms of value of shipments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ro a d

C1                            C2

 

C3

 

 

 

 

Ra il                          Ma ritime

 

 

 

D1                   D2

Distance

 

 

Figure 4.10    Distance, modal choice and transport cost

 

 

 

 

70         65.6

 

60

 

Value

Weight

 

 

50

 

 

40                 35.1

 

30

 

 

32.4

 

 

20                                     14.4

 

10

 

0

 

17.4

 

 

 

3.6

 

14.8

 

 

6.9                       5                        4.5

0.2

 

 

 

0.1

 

Truck                  Rail                Pipeline                  Air                        Water             Other and unknown

 

Figure 4.11    Modal shares of US–NAFTA-partner merchandise trade, 2000

 

There are important geographical variations in modal competition. The availability of transport infrastructures and networks varies enormously. Some regions possess many different modes that in combination provide a range of transport services that ensure an efficient commercial environment. In many parts of the world, however, there are only limited services, and some important modes may be absent altogether. This limits the choices for people and shippers, and acts to limit accessibility. People and freight are forced to use the only available modes that may not be the most economic for the nature of the demand. Goods may not be able to find a market, and people’s mobility may be impaired.

For these reasons, transport provision is seen as a major factor in economic development (see Chapter 3). Areas with limited modal choices tend to be among the least developed. The developed world, on the other hand, possesses a wide range of modes that can provide services to meet the needs of society and the economy.

 

 

Concept  2 – Intermodal  transportation

 

The nature of intermodalism

 

Competition between the modes has tended to produce a transport system that is segmented and un-integrated. Each mode has sought to exploit its own advantages in terms of cost, service, reliability and safety. Carriers try to retain business by maximizing the line- haul under their control. All the modes saw the other modes as competitors, and were viewed with suspicion and mistrust. The lack of integration between the modes was also accentuated by public policy that has frequently barred companies from owning firms in other modes (as in the United States before deregulation), or has placed a mode under direct state monopoly control (as in Europe). Modalism was also favored because of the difficulties of transferring goods from one mode to another, thereby incurring additional terminal costs and delays.

The use of several modes of transport has frequently occurred as goods are shipped from the producer to the consumer. When several modes are used this is referred to as multimodal transport. Within the last forty years efforts have been made to integrate separate  transport  systems  through  intermodalism.  What  distinguishes  intermodal from multimodal transport is that the former involves the use of at least two different

 

 

modes in a trip from origin to destination under a single transport rate. Intermodality enhances the economic performance of a transport chain by using the modes in the most productive  manner. Thus, the line-haul  economies  of rail may be exploited  for long distances, with the efficiencies of trucks providing local pick up and delivery. The key is that the entire trip is seen as a whole, rather than as a series of legs, each marked by an individual operation with separate sets of documentation and rates.

Figure 4.12 illustrates two alternatives to freight distribution. The first is a conventional point-to-point  multimodal  network  where  origins  (A,  B  and  C)  are  independently linked to destinations (D, E and F). In this case, two modes (road and rail) are used. The second alternative involves the development of an integrated intermodal transport network. Traffic converges at two transshipment points, rail terminals, where loads are consolidated. This can result in higher load factors and/or higher transport frequency, especially  between  terminals.  Under  such  circumstances,  the  efficiency  of  such  a network mainly resides in the transshipment capabilities of transport terminals.

The emergence  of intermodalism  has been  brought  about  in part by technology (Muller,  1995).  Techniques  for transferring  freight  from one mode  to another  have facilitated intermodal transfers. Early examples include piggyback (TOFC: trailers on flat cars), where truck trailers are placed on rail cars, and LASH (lighter aboard ship), where river barges are placed directly on board sea-going ships. The major development undoubtedly  has  been  the  container,  which  permits  easy  handling  between  modal systems. Containers have become the most important component for rail and maritime intermodal transportation.

While handling technology has influenced the development of intermodalism, another important factor has been the changes in public policy. Deregulation in the United States in the early 1980s liberated firms from government control. Companies were no longer prohibited  from  owning  across  modal  types,  and there  developed  a strong  impetus towards intermodal cooperation. Shipping lines, in particular, began to offer integrated rail and road service to customers. The advantages of each mode could be exploited in a seamless system. Customers could purchase the service to ship their products from door to door, without having to concern themselves about modal barriers. With one bill of lading clients can obtain one through rate, despite the transfer of goods from one mode to another (Hayuth, 1987).

The provision of through bills of lading in turn necessitated a revolution in organization  and information  control. At the heart of modern intermodalism  are data handling, processing and distribution systems that are essential to ensure the safe, reliable and cost-effective control of freight movements across several modes. Electronic Data

 

 

 

Multimodal point -to -point network

 

C A

Intermodal integrated network

 

C A

 

 

B                                                                                   B               Transshipment

 

 

 

Rail

 

 

Road

 

D

F E

 

 

D                          Transshipment

F E

 

 

Figure 4.12    Multimodal and intermodal transportation

 

 

Interchange (EDI) is an evolving technology that is helping companies and government agencies (customs documentation) to cope with an increasingly complex global transport system.

 

 

Intermodalism, the container and maritime  transport

 

Intermodalism originated in maritime space, with the development of the container in the late 1960s and has since spread to integrate other modes. It is not surprising that the maritime sector should have been the first mode to pursue containerization.  It was the mode most constrained by the time taken to load and unload the vessels. Containerization permits the mechanized handling of cargoes of diverse types and dimensions that are placed into boxes of standard dimensions. In this way, goods that might have taken days to be loaded or unloaded from a ship can now be handled in a matter of minutes (Slack,

1998).

One of the keys to the success of the container is that the International  Standards

Organization (ISO) very early on established base dimensions. The reference size is the

20-foot box, 20 feet long, 8 feet high and 8 feet wide, or 1 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit

(TEU). The other major size is the 40-foot box, which has the capacity to carry 4,400

VCRs or 267,000 video games or 10,000 pairs of shoes. Containers are either made of steel or aluminum and their structure confers flexibility and hardiness. Each year, about 1.5 million TEU worth of containers are manufactured. The global inventory of containers was estimated to be around 15.9 million TEU by 2002. The standard 20-foot container costs about $2,000 and a 40-footer about $4,000.

Among the numerous advantages related to the success of containers in international transport, it is possible to note several elements:

 

Standard  transport  product.  A container  can be manipulated  anywhere  in the world as its dimensions are an ISO standard. Indeed, transfer infrastructures  allow

all elements (vehicles) of a transport chain to handle it with relative ease. The rapid diffusion of containerization  was facilitated  by the fact that its initiator, Malcolm McLean, purposely did not patent his invention. Consequently  all segments of the industry, competitors alike, had access to the standard. It necessitated the construction of specialized ships and of lifting equipment.

Flexibility of usage. A container can transport a wide variety of goods, ranging from

raw materials (coal, wheat), manufactured goods, and cars to frozen products. There

are specialized containers for transporting  liquids (oil and chemical products) and perishable food items in refrigerated containers or reefers. About 1 million TEUs of reefers were being used by 2002.

Management.  The container, as an indivisible unit, carries a unique identification

number  and a size type code, enabling  transport  management  not only in terms

of loads, but in terms of unit. Computerized  management  reduces  waiting  times considerably and allows the position of containers to be traced at any time. It enables containers to be assigned according to the priority, destination and available transport capacities.

Costs. Containerization of shipping has reduced costs significantly. Before container-

ization, maritime transport costs could account for between 5 and 10 percent of the

retail price of manufactured products; this share has been reduced to 1.5 percent. The main factors behind costs reductions reside in the speed and flexibility incurred by containerization. It has permitted shipping to achieve ever greater economies of scale through the introduction of larger ships. A 5,000 TEU containership has operating costs per container that are 50 percent lower than a 2,500 TEU vessel.

 

 

Speed. Transshipment  operations  are minimal and rapid. A modern containership has a monthly capacity of three to six times more than a conventional  cargo ship.

This is notably attributable  to gains in transshipment  time as a crane can handle roughly 30 movements (loading or unloading) per hour. Port turnaround times have thus been reduced from 3 weeks to about 24 hours. It takes on average between 10 and 20 hours to unload 1,000 TEUs compared with between 70 and 100 hours for a similar quantity of general cargo. A regular freighter can spend between half and two-thirds of its useful life in port. With less time in port, containerships can spend more time at sea, and thus be more profitable to operators. Further, containerships are on average 35 percent (19 knots versus 14 knots) faster than regular freighter ships. System-wide, the outcome has been a reduction of costs by about 30 percent because of containerization.

Warehousing.  The container  limits the risks for goods it transports  because it is

resistant to shocks and weather conditions. The packaging of goods it contains is

therefore simpler and less expensive. Containers fit together, permitting stacking on ships and on the ground. The container is consequently its own warehouse.

Security. The contents of the container are anonymous to outsiders as it can only be

opened at the origin, at customs and at the destination. Thefts, especially those of

valued commodities, are therefore considerably reduced.

 

In spite of numerous  advantages  in the usage of containers,  some drawbacks  are evident:

 

Consumption of space. A containership of 25,000 tons requires a minimum of 12 hectares of unloading space. Conventional port areas are not adequate for container

handling. Consequently, containers have modified the local geography of ports (see

Chapter 5).

Infrastructure costs. Container handling infrastructures, such as gantry cranes, yard

equipment, road and rail access, represent important investments for port authorities

and load centers. Several developing  countries cannot afford these infrastructures and so cannot participate in international trade.

Management  logistics. The management  logistics of containers  is very complex.

This requires high levels of information  technology  for the recording, positioning

and ordering of containers handled.

Empty  travel. At the global  scale,  it is rare for the origins  and destinations  of

containers  to  be  in  equilibrium.  Most  container  trade  is  imbalanced,  and  thus

containers “accumulate” in some places and must be shipped back to locations where there are deficits. Many containers are moved empty. Either full or empty, a container takes the same amount of space on the ship or in a storage yard and takes the same amount  of time to be transshipped.  As a result,  shipping  lines waste  substantial amounts of time and money in repositioning empty containers.

Illicit trade. By its confidential character, the container is a common instrument used

in the illicit trade of drug and weapons, as well as for illegal immigrants. Concerns

have also been raised about containers being used for terrorism. Electronic scanning systems  are being implemented  to remotely  inspect the contents  of containers  at major gateways.

 

 

Intermodalism and other  modes

 

With the deregulation  and privatization  trends begun in the 1980s, containerization, which was already well established  in the maritime sector, could spread inland. The

 

 

shipping  lines were among the first to exploit  the intermodal  opportunities  that US deregulation permitted. They could offer door-to-door rates to customers by integrating rail services and local truck pick up and delivery in a seamless network. To achieve this they leased trains, managed rail terminals, and in some cases purchased trucking firms. In this way, they could serve customers  across the country by offering door-to-door service from suppliers  located around the world. The move inland also led to some significant developments, most notably the double-stacking of containers on rail cars. This produced important competitive advantages for intermodal rail transport (Muller,

1995).

Other parts of the world have not developed the same degree of synergies between rail and shipping as is found in North America. However, there appears to be a trend towards closer integration in many regions. In Europe, rail intermodal services are becoming well established between the major ports, such as Rotterdam, and southern Germany, and between Hamburg and Eastern Europe (van Klink and van den Berg, 1998). Rail shuttles are also making their appearance in China.

While rail intermodal transport has been relatively slow to develop in Europe, there are extensive interconnections between barge services and ocean shipping, particularly on the Rhine (Notteboom and Konings, 2004). Barge shipping offers a low-cost solution to inland distribution  where navigable  waterways  penetrate  to interior markets. This solution is being tested in North America, where the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is sponsoring barge services to Albany and several other destinations.

While it is true that the maritime container has become the work horse of international trade, other types of containers are found in certain modes, most notably in the airline industry. High labor costs and the slowness of loading planes, which require a very rapid turnaround, made the industry very receptive to the concept of a loading unit of standard dimensions. The maritime container was too heavy and did not fit the rounded configuration of a plane’s fuselage, and thus a box specific to the needs of the airlines was  required.  The  major  breakthrough  came  with  the  introduction  of  wide-bodied aircraft in the late 1970s. Lightweight aluminum boxes could be filled with passengers’ baggage or parcels and freight, and loaded into the holds of the planes using tracking that requires little human assistance.

A unique form of intermodal unit has been developed in the rail industry, particularly in the USA. Roadrailer is essentially a road trailer that can also roll on rail tracks. It is unlike the TOFC (piggyback) system that requires the trailer be lifted onto a rail flat car. Here the rail bogies may be part of the trailer unit, or be attached in the railway yard. The road unit becomes a rail car, and vice versa. It is used extensively by a major US rail company, Norfolk Southern, whose “Triple Crown” service provides just-in-time deliveries  between the automobile  parts manufacturers  located in Michigan,  and the assembly plants located in Georgia, Texas and Mexico and Canada.

 

 

Intermodalism and production systems

 

NS’s  Triple  Crown  Service  is but  one  example  of how  transport  chains  are  being integrated into production systems. As manufacturers spread their production facilities and assembly plants around the globe to take advantage of local factors of production, transportation becomes an ever more important issue. The integrated transport chain is itself being integrated into the production and distribution processes. Transport can no longer be considered as a separate service that is required only as a response to supply and demand conditions. It has to be built into the entire supply chain system, from multi- source procurement, to processing, assembly and final distribution (Robinson, 2002).

 

 

While many manufacturing corporations may have in-house transportation departments, increasingly the complex needs of the supply chain are being contracted out to third parties. Third party logistics providers (3PL) have emerged from traditional intermediaries  such  as forwarders,  or from  transport  providers  such  as FEDEX  or Maersk-SeaLand.  Because the latter are transporters  themselves,  they are referred to as fourth party logistics providers  (4PL). Both groups have been at the forefront  of the intermodal  revolution  that is now assuming  more complex  organizational  forms and importance. In offering door-to-door services, the customer is no longer aware or necessarily concerned with how the shipment gets to its destination. The modes used and the routing selected are no longer of immediate concern. The preoccupation is with cost and level of service. This produces a paradox, that for the customer of intermodal services  geographic  space  becomes  meaningless;  but  for  the  intermodal  providers routing and modal choice assume an ever greater importance.

 

 

Concept  3 – Passengers or freight?

 

Advantages and disadvantages

 

With some exceptions, such as buses and pipelines, most transport modes have developed to handle both freight and passenger traffic. In some cases both are carried in the same vehicle, as for example in the airlines where freight is transported in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft. In others, different types of vehicle have been developed for freight and passenger traffic, but they both share the same road bed, as for example in rail and road traffic. In shipping, passengers and freight used to share the same vessel, but since the 1950s specialization  has occurred, and the two are now quite distinct, except for ferries and some RORO services.

The sharing  by freight and passengers  of a mode is not without  difficulties,  and indeed some of the major problems confronting transportation  occur where the two seek to co-inhabit. For example, trucks in urban areas are seen as a nuisance and a cause of congestion  by passenger  transport  users. The poor performance  of some modes, such as rail, is seen as the outcome of freight and passengers having to share routes. This raises the question as to whether freight and passengers are compatible. The main advantages of joint operations are:

 

• High capital costs can be justified more easily with a diverse revenue stream (rail, airlines, ferries).

• Maintenance costs can be spread over a wider base (rail, airlines).

• The same traction sources can be used for both freight and passengers, particularly

for rail.

 

The main disadvantages of joint operations are:

 

• Locations  of demand rarely match – origin/destination  of freight is usually quite distinct spatially from passenger traffic.

• Frequency of demand is different – for passengers the need is for high frequency

service, for freight it tends to be somewhat less critical.

• Timing of service – demand for passenger services has specific peaks during the day,

for freight it tends to be more evenly spread throughout the day.

• Traffic balance – on a daily basis passenger  flows tend to be in equilibrium,  for

freight, market imbalances produce empty flows.

 

 

• Reliability  –  although  freight  traffic  increasingly  demands  quality  service,  for passengers delays are unacceptable.

• Sharing routes favors passenger traffic – passenger trains are given priority; trucks

may be excluded from areas at certain times of the day.

• Different operational speeds – passengers demand faster service.

• Security  screening  measures  for  passengers  and  freight  require  totally  different

procedures.

 

 

A growing divergence

 

In several  modes  and across  many regions  passenger  and freight  transport  is being unbundled.

 

Shipping.  It has  already  been  mentioned  that  in the  maritime  sector  passenger services have become divorced from freight operations, the exception being some

ferry services where the use of RORO ships on high frequency  services adapt to the needs of both market segments.  Deep sea passenger  travel is now dominated by cruise shipping which has no freight-handling capabilities, and bulk and general cargo ships rarely have an interest or the ability to transport passengers.

Rail. Most rail systems  still operate  passenger  and freight business. Where both

segments are maintained, the railways give priority to passengers, since rail persists as

the dominant mode for inter-city transport in India, China and much of the developing world. In Europe, the national rail systems and various levels of government have prioritized passenger service as a means of checking the growth of the automobile, with its resultant problems of congestion and environmental degradation (see Chapter

8). Significant  investments  have occurred  in improving  the comfort of trains and in passenger  rail stations, but most notable have been the upgrading  of track and equipment in order to achieve higher operational speeds. Freight transport has tended to lose out because of the emphasis on passengers. Because of their lower operational speeds, freight trains are frequently excluded from daytime slots, when passenger trains are most in demand. Overnight journeys may not meet the needs of freight customers. This incompatibility  is a factor in the loss of freight business by most rail systems still trying to operate both freight and passenger operations. In Europe, there are signs that the two markets are being separated. First, it is occurring at the management level. The liberalization of the railway system that is being forced by the European  Commission  is resulting  in the separation  of passenger  and freight operations. This had already taken place in the UK when British Rail was privatized. Second, the move towards high-speed passenger rail service necessitated the construction of separate rights of way for the TGV trains. This has tended to move passenger train services from the existing tracks, thereby opening up more daytime slots for freight trains. Third, the Dutch are building a freight only track, the Betuwe Line, from the port of Rotterdam  to the German  border, having already sold the freight business of the Netherlands railway (NS) to DB (Deutsche Bahn), and having opened up the freight business to other firms. In North America, the divorce between freight and passenger rail business is most complete. The private railway companies could not compete against the automobile and airline industry for passenger traffic, and consequently withdrew from the passenger business in the 1970s. They were left to operate a freight only system, which has generally been successful, especially with the introduction  of intermodality.  The passenger  business has been taken over by public agencies, AMTRAK in the USA, and VIA Rail in Canada. Both are struggling

 

 

 

 

United States

 

United Kingdom

 

1979.7

 

 

Japan

 

Italy

 

Germany

 

France

 

Canada

 

0                  50                100               150               200               250               300

Passenger-kms (billions)   Ton-kms (billions)

 

Figure 4.13    Domestic rail passenger travel and freight activity, G7 Countries, 1996 (Source: US Department of Transportation, BTS, G–7 Countries: Transportation Highlights)

 

to survive. A major problem  is that they have to lease trackage  from the freight railways, and thus slower freight trains have priority (Figure 4.13).

Roads. Freight and passenger vehicles still share the roads. The growth of freight

traffic is helping increase road congestion  and in many cities concerns  are being

raised about the presence of trucks (see Chapters 7 and 9). Already, restrictions are in place on truck dimensions  and weights in certain parts of cities, and there are growing pressures to limiting truck access to non-daylight hours. Certain highways exclude truck traffic – the parkways in the USA for example. These are examples of what is likely to become a growing trend – the need to separate truck from passenger vehicle traffic. Facing chronic congestion  around the access points to the port of Rotterdam  and at the freight terminals  at Schiphol  airport, Dutch engineers  have worked on feasibility studies of developing separate underground road networks for freight vehicles.

Air transport. Air transport  is the mode where freight and passengers  are most

integrated. Yet even here a divergence is being noted. The growth of all-freight airlines

and the freight-only planes operated by some of the major carriers, such as Singapore Airlines, are heralding a trend. The interests of the shippers, including the timing of the shipments and the destinations,  are sometimes better served than in passenger aircraft. The divergence between passengers and freight is also being accentuated by the growing importance of charter and “no frills” carriers. Their interest in freight is very limited, especially when their business is oriented towards tourism, since tourist destinations tend to be lean freight generating locations.

 

 

Method  1 – Technical  performance indicators

 

Indicators

 

Multimodal transportation networks rest upon the combinatory costs and performance of transport  modes,  or what is referred  to as economies  of scope. For instance,  a single container shipped overseas at the lowest cost from its origin can go from road, to seaway, to railway and to road again before reaching its destination. Freight shippers and carriers therefore require quantitative tools for decision-making in order to compare performances  of  various  transport  modes  and  transport  networks.  Time-efficiency

 

 

becomes a set imperative for both freight and passenger transit in private as well as in public sector activities.

Performance indicators are widely used by geographers and economists to empirically assess the technical performance (not to be confused with economic performance, for there can exist a lag between  the two) of differing  transport  modes, in other words their capacity to move goods or passengers around. Hence, basic technical performance calculations can be particularly useful for networks’ global performance analysis as well as for modal comparison, analysis, and evaluation by bridging both physical attributes (length, distance, configuration, etc.) and time-based attributes (punctuality, regularity, reliance, etc.) of networks. Some indicators are currently used to measure freight and passenger transport. Table 4.1 gives a few of the most common ones.

Passenger-km  or  ton-km  are  standard  units  for  measuring  travel  that  consider the  number  of  people  traveling  or  ton  output  and  distance  traveled.  For  example,

120 passenger-km  represents  10 passengers  traveling  12 kilometers  or 2 passengers traveling 60 kilometers, and so on. More specifically, such indicators are of great utility by allowing cross-temporal analysis of a transport nexus or given transport modes.

 

 

Economic impact  indicators

 

Undoubtedly,  transportation  plays a considerable  role in the economy with its omni- presence throughout  the production  chain, at all geographic  scales. It is an integral constituent of the production–consumption cycle. Economic impact indicators help to appreciate the relationship between transport systems and the economy as well as to inform on the economic weight of this type of activity. Geographers should be familiar with basic econometric impact indexes (see Table 4.2).

Efficiency is usually defined as the ratio of input to output, or the output per each unit of input. Modal variations in efficiency will depend heavily on what is to be carried, the distance traveled, the degree and complexity of logistics required as well as economies of scale. Freight transport chains rest upon the complementarity  of cost-efficient  and

 

Table 4.1    Commonly used performance indicators

 

Indicator Passenger Freight Description
Passenger/freight density passenger-km/km ton-km/km A standard measure of
      transport efficiency.
Mean distance traveled passenger-km/passenger ton-km/ton A measure of the
      ground covering
      capacity of networks
      and different transport
      modes.
Mean per capita

ton output (freight) Mean number of trips

passengers/population tons/population Used to measure the

relative performance of transport modes.

per capita (passenger)

Mean occupation

 

number of passengers

 

actual load (ton)/

 

Especially useful with

coefficient aboard/total  carrying

capacity (%)

overall load capacity

(ton) (%)

increasing complexity

of logistics associated

  with containerization
of freight (i.e. the
problem of empty
returns). Can also be
used to measure transit
ridership.

 

 

Table 4.2    Measures of efficiency

 

Efficiency indicators                      Scale-specific  indicators

 

(Factors of production)                 Micro                                   Meso-macro

output/capital                                  transport sector income/    output/GDP

local income output/labor                                    output/local  income

 

time-efficient modes, seeking most of the time a balanced compromise rather than an ideal or perfect equilibrium.

Maritime transport is still the most cost-efficient way to transport bulk merchandise over long distances. On the other hand, while air transport is recognized for its unsurpassed time-efficiency versus other modes over long distances, it remains an expensive option. Thus, vertical integration, or the absorption of transportation activities by producers, illustrates the search for these two efficiency attributes by gaining direct control over inputs.

 

 

Transportation and economic impacts

 

The relationship between transport systems and their larger economic frame becomes clear  when  looking  at restructuring  patterns  which  carriers  and firms  are currently undergoing. Structural mutations, best illustrated by the popularity of just-in-time practices, are fuelled by two opposing yet effective forces: transporters seek to achieve economies of scale while having to conform to an increasingly “customized” demand.

Factor substitution is a commonly adopted path in order to reduce costs of production and  attain  greater  efficiency.  Containerization  of  freight  by  substituting  labor  for capital and technology is a good illustration of the phenomenon.  Measures of capital productivity  for such capital-intensive  transport means are of central importance;  an output/capital ratio is then commonly used. While the output/labor ratio performs the same productivity measurement  but for the labor input (this form of indicator can be used for each factor of production in the system), a capital/labor ratio aims at measuring which factor predominates within the relationship between capital and labor productivity. The above set of indicators therefore provides insights on the relative weight of factors within the production process.

More scale-specific  indicators can also be used to appreciate the role of transport within the economy. Knowing freight transport both contributes  to and is fuelled by a larger economic context, freight output can be confronted against macro-economic indicators: an output/GDP  ratio measures the relationship between economic activity and traffic freight, in other words the traffic intensity. At the local level, the status of the transport industry within the local economy is given by a transport sector income / local income ratio. Still at a micro-scale, finally, a measure of the relative production value of freight output is provided by an output/local income ratio.

Underlying  objectives  of application  of such indicators  are as varied as they are numerous.  Efficiency  indicators  constitute  valuable  tools  to tackle  project  viability questions as well as to measure investment returns and cost/subsidy recovery of transport systems. Input–output  analyses making use of some of the above indicators are also instrumental to the development  of global economic impact indexes and productivity assessment concepts such as the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and to identify sources of productivity gains.

 

 

Specialization index

 

In transport, to find out if a terminal is specialized in the transshipment and/or handling of a particular kind of merchandise or if, inversely, it transfers a wide variety of merchandise, we can calculate a specialization index. For example, the index can be used to know if a port is specialized in the handling of a certain type of product (e.g. containers) or if it handles a wide range of merchandise. As a consequence, such an index is quite versatile and has a variety of applications; it informs geographers on the activities of any type of terminal (port, train and airport). In the case of an airport terminal, one could ask if a given airport deals with only a single type of flights/passengers  (local, national, international, etc.) or if it welcomes several. The specialization index (SI) is calculated using the following formula:

 

 

2

 

ti

 

 

 

SI =  i         ⎛            2

⎜∑ti 

⎝  i        

 

 

 

i

 

which is the total of squares of tonnage (or monetary value) of each type of merchandise i (t ) handled at a terminal over the square of the total volume tonnage (or monetary value) of merchandise handled at the terminal.

So, if the specialization index tends toward 1, such a result indicates that the terminal is highly specialized. If, inversely, the index tends toward 0, it means that the terminal’s activity is diversified. Thus, the specialization  index is called upon to appreciate the degree of specialization/diversification of a port, an airport, a train station or any type of terminal.

 

 

Location coefficient

 

Certain kinds of merchandise are often transshipped at particular terminals rather than at others. Thus, the degree of concentration of a certain type of traffic in a terminal (port, airport, train station) compared with the average for all the terminals, can be measured by using the location coefficient.

 

The location coefficient is the share of traffic occupied by a type of merchandise at a terminal over the share of traffic of the same type of merchandise among the total traffic of all terminals of the same type.

 

In the field of transportation, the location coefficient (LC) is calculated by using the following formula:

⎛              ⎞

     M ti       

⎜              ⎟

⎜ ∑Mti  

⎝              ⎠

 

LC =

t

⎛ ∑Mt  

 

⎜             ⎟

      t               

⎜ ∑M

⎝             ⎠

 

 

 

 

ti

 

where  M

 

 

 

t

 

is  the  traffic  of  a  merchandise  t  at  a  terminal  i,  M

 

is  the  total  of  all

 

merchandises of type t for all terminals and M is the total of all types of merchandises for all terminals.

The greater the value of the index, the greater is the degree of traffic of a certain type of merchandise. Possible outcomes are of three types:

 

• A figure lower than 1 indicates  that the traffic of the chosen merchandise  in the terminal  is  under-represented   compared  with  the  same  merchandise  in  all  the

terminals.

• A figure equal to 1 indicates that the quantity of traffic of the chosen merchandise in

a terminal is proportional to its participation in total traffic.

• Finally, a coefficient above 1 indicates that the traffic of the chosen merchandise in a

given terminal is preponderant in total traffic.

 

Beside using the location coefficient to evaluate the relative weight of a type of traffic in a terminal, the location coefficient can be used to appreciate the importance of an economic activity for a community compared with the importance of the same activity within a defined larger area (e.g. province, country, world, etc.). The larger geographic entity is also known as the benchmark and is critical in the calculation of the location coefficient.

 

 

References

 

Agusdinata,  B. and W. de Klein (2002) “The Dynamics of Airline Alliances”,  Journal of Air Transport

Management,  8, 201–11.

Brooks, M. (2000) Sea Change in Liner Shipping, New York: Pergamon. Graham, B. (1995) Geography and Air Transport, Chichester: Wiley. Hayuth, Y. (1987) Intermodality,  Essex: Lloyds of London Press.

Muller, G. (1995) Intermodal Transport, Westport, CT: Eno Foundation.

Notteboom,  T. and R. Konings (2004) “Network  Dynamics  in Container Transport  by Barge”, Belgeo,

5, 461–77.

Robinson, R. (2002) “Ports as Elements in Value-driven  Chain Systems: The New Paradigm”, Maritime

Policy and Management,  29, 241–55.

Slack, B. (1998) “Intermodal  Transportation” in B.S. Hoyle and R. Knowles  (eds) Modern Transport

Geography,  2nd edn, Chichester: Wiley, pp. 263–90.

Slack,  B. (2004)  “Corporate  Realignment  and the Global  Imperatives  of Container  Shipping”  in D.

Pinder and B. Slack (eds) Transport in the Twenty-First  Century, London: Routledge, pp. 25–39.

van Klink, A. and G.C.  van den Berg  (1998)  “Gateways  and Intermodalism”, Journal  of Transport

Geography,  6, 1–9.

 

5    Transport  terminals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All spatial flows, with the exception of personal vehicular and pedestrian trips, involve movements between terminals. With these two exceptions, all transport modes require assembly  and distribution  of their traffic,  both passenger  and freight.  For example, passengers  have to go to bus terminals and airports first in order to reach their final destinations, and freight has to be consolidated at a port or a rail yard before onward shipment. Terminals  are, therefore,  essential links in transportation  chains. The goal of this chapter is to examine the strong spatial and functional  character of transport terminals. They occupy specific locations and they exert a strong influence over their surroundings. At the same time they perform specific economic functions and serve as foci for clusters of specialized services.

 

 

Concept  1 – The function  of transport terminals

 

The nature of transport terminals

 

A terminal may be defined as any facility where freight and passengers are assembled or dispersed. They may be points of interchange involving the same mode of transport. Thus, a passenger wishing to travel by train from Paris to Antwerp may have to change in Brussels, or an air passenger wishing to fly between Montreal and Winnipeg may have to change planes in Toronto. They may also be points of interchange between different modes of transport, so that goods being shipped from the US Mid-West to the Ruhr in Germany may travel by rail from Cincinnati to the port of New York, be put on a ship to Rotterdam, and then placed on a barge for delivery to Duisberg. Transport terminals, therefore, are central and intermediate locations in the movements of passengers and freight.

In order to carry out the transfer and bundling of freight and passengers,  specific equipment  and  infrastructures  are  required.  Differences  in  the  nature,  composition and timing  of transfer  activities  give rise to significant  differentiations  in the form and function between terminals. A basic distinction is between passenger and freight transfers, because in order to carry out the transfer and bundling of each type, specific equipment and infrastructures are required.

 

 

Passenger terminals

 

With one exception, passenger terminals require relatively little specific equipment. This is because individual  mobility is the means by which passengers  access buses, ferries or trains. Certainly, services such as information, shelter, food and security are required, but the layouts and activities taking place in passenger terminals tend to be simple and require relatively little equipment. They may appear congested at certain

 

 

times  of the day,  but the flows  of people  can  be managed  successfully  with  good design of platforms and access points, and with appropriate scheduling of arrivals and departures. The amount of time passengers spend in such terminals tends to be brief. As a result bus termini and railway stations tend to be made up of simple components, from ticket offices and waiting areas to limited amounts of retailing.

Airports are of a different order. They are among the most complex of terminals functionally (Caves and Gosling, 1999). Moving people through an airport has become a very significant problem, not least because of security concerns. Passengers may spend several hours in transit, with check-in and security checks on departure, and baggage pick up and in many cases customs and immigration on arrival. Planes may be delayed for a multitude of reasons. The result is that a wide range of services have to be provided for passengers not directly related to the transfer function, including restaurants, bars, stores, hotels, in addition to the activities directly related to operations such as check- in halls, passenger loading ramps and baggage handling facilities. At the same time, airports have to provide for the very specific needs of the aircraft, from runways to maintenance facilities, from fire protection to air traffic control.

Measurement of activities in passenger terminals is generally straightforward. The most common indicator is the number of passengers handled, sometimes differentiated according to arrivals and departures (see Figure 5.1). Transfer passengers are counted twice (once on arrival, once on departure), and so airports that serve as major transfer facilities inevitably record high passenger totals. This is evident in Figure 5.1 where in-transit passengers at the two leading airports, ATL and ORD, account for over 50 percent  of the  total  passenger  movements.  A further  measure  of airport  activity  is number of aircraft movements, a figure that must be used with some caution because it pays no regard to the capacity of planes. High numbers of aircraft movements may not be correlated with passenger traffic totals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit (DTW)

Houston  (IAH)

Madrid (MAD)

Las Vegas (LAS)

Phoenix (PHX)

Denver (DEN)

Amsterdam (AMS)

Paris (CDG)

Frankurt/Main (FRA)

Dalas/Ft Worth (DFW)

Los Angeles (LAX)

Tokyo (HND)

London (LHR)

Chicago (ORD)

Atlanta (ATL)

 

0            10           20           30           40           50           60           70           80

 

Figure 5.1    World’s largest passenger airports, 2003 (in millions) (Source: Airports Council

International. http://www.airports.org/)

 

 

Freight terminals

 

Freight handling requires specific loading and unloading equipment. In addition to the facilities required to accommodate  ships, trucks and trains (berths, loading bays and freight yards respectively),  a very wide range of handling gear is required that is determined by the kinds of cargoes handled. The result is that terminals are differentiated functionally both by the mode involved and the commodities transferred. A basic distinction is that between bulk and general cargo:

 

Bulk refers to goods that are handled in large quantities that are unpackaged and are available in uniform dimensions.  Liquid bulk goods include crude oil and refined

products that can be handled using pumps to move the product along hoses and pipes. Relatively  limited handling  equipment  is needed, but significant  storage facilities may be required. Dry bulk includes a wide range of products, such as ores, coal and cereals. More equipment for dry bulk handling is required, because the material may have to utilize specialized grabs and cranes and conveyer-belt systems.

General cargo refers to goods that are of many shapes, dimensions and weights, such

as machinery and parts. Because the goods are so uneven and irregular, handling is

difficult to mechanize. General cargo handling usually requires a lot of labor.

 

A feature of most freight activity is the need for storage. Assembling the individual bundles of goods may be time-consuming and thus some storage may be required. This produces the need for terminals to be equipped with specialized infrastructures such as grain silos, storage tanks, and refrigerated warehouses, or simply space to stockpile.

Measurement of freight traffic through terminals is more complicated than for passengers.  Because freight is so diverse, standard  measures  of weight and value are difficult to compare and combine. Because bulk cargoes are inevitably weighty, terminals specialized in such cargoes will inevitably record higher throughputs measured in tons than others more specialized in general cargoes. This is evident from Figure 5.2, where the traffic of the two leading ports, Singapore and Rotterdam, is dominated by petroleum. The reverse may be true if the value of commodities handled is the measure employed.  The problem  of measurement  involving  weight or volume  becomes  very difficult when many types of freight are handled, because one is adding together goods

 

 

 

Hamburg                                                                                                                                1997

 

Marseilles Yokohama Pusan Antwerp

Nagoya

2000

 

 

Hong Kong Shanghai Singapore

Rotterdam

 

0                50              100             150             200             250             300             350

 

Figure 5.2    Throughput of the world’s major ports, 1997–2000 (in millions of metric tons)

 

 

that are inherently unequal. Care must be taken in interpreting the significance of freight traffic totals, therefore.

The difficulty of comparing traffic totals of different commodities has led to attempts to “weight” cargoes based upon some indication of the value added they contribute to the terminal. The most famous is the so-called “Bremen” rule. This was developed in 1982 by the port of Bremen and was based on a survey of the labor cost incurred in the handling of one ton of different cargoes. The results found that handling one ton of general cargo equals three tons of dry bulk and 12 tons of liquid bulk. Although this is the most widely used method, other “rules” have been developed by individual ports, such as Rotterdam, and more recently by the port of Antwerp. The “Antwerp rule” indicates that the highest value added is the handling of fruit. Using this as a benchmark, forest products handling requires 3.0 tons to provide the same value added as fruit, cars 1.5 tons, containers 7 tons, cereals 12 tons, and crude oil 47 tons (Haezendonck, 2001).

 

 

Terminal  costs

 

Because  they  jointly  perform  transfer  and  consolidation  functions,  terminals  are important economically  because of the costs incurred in carrying out these activities. The traffic  they handle  is a source  of employment  and benefits  regional  economic activities, notably by providing accessibility to suppliers and customers. Terminal costs represent an important component of total transport costs. They are fixed costs that are incurred regardless of the length of the eventual trip, and vary significantly between the modes. They can be considered as:

 

Infrastructure costs. Include construction and maintenance costs of facilities such as piers, runways, cranes and structures (warehouses, offices, etc.).

Transshipment costs. The costs of loading and unloading passengers or freight.

Administration costs. Many terminal facilities are managed by institutions such as

port or airport authorities or by private companies. In both cases administration costs

are incurred.

 

Because ships have the largest carrying capacities, they incur the largest terminal costs, since it may take many days to load or unload a vessel. Conversely, a truck or a passenger bus can be loaded much more quickly, and hence the terminal costs for road transport are the lowest. Terminal costs play an important role in determining the competitive position between the modes. Because of their high freight terminal costs, ships and rail are unsuitable for short-haul trips.

Figure 5.3 represents a simplified assumption concerning transport costs for three modes. It should be noticed that the cost curves all begin at some point up the cost axis. This represents terminal costs, and as can be seen, shipping (T3) and rail (T2) start with a significant disadvantage compared with road (T1).

Competition  between  the  modes  is  frequently  measured  by  cost  comparisons. Efforts to reduce transport costs can be achieved by using more fuel-efficient vehicles, increasing the size of ships, and reducing the labor employed on trains. However, unless terminal costs are reduced as well, the benefits would not be realized. For example, in water transportation, potential economies of scale realized by ever larger and more fuel-efficient vessels would be negated if it took longer to load and off-load the jumbo ships.

Over the last forty years, very significant steps to reduce terminal costs have been made. These have included introducing information management systems such as EDI

 

 

 

C1                              C2

 

C3

 

 

T3

T2

T1

 

 

 

Figure 5.3    Terminal costs

 

Distance

 

 

(electronic data interchange) that have greatly speeded up the processing of information, removing delays typical of paper transactions. The most significant development  has been the mechanization  of loading and unloading activities. Mechanization  has been facilitated  by the use of units  of standard  dimensions  such  as the pallet  and  most importantly,  the  container.  The  container,  in particular,  has  revolutionized  terminal operations (see Chapter 4). For the mode most affected by high terminal costs, ocean transport,  ships used to spend as much as three weeks in a port undergoing  loading and loading. The much larger ships of today spend less than a couple of days in port. A modern  container  ship  requires  approximately  750  man-hours  to be loaded  and unloaded. Prior to containerization it would have required 24,000 man-hours to handle the same volume of cargo. The rail industry too has benefited from the container, which permits trains to be assembled in freight yards in a matter of hours instead of days.

Reduced terminal costs have had a major impact on transportation and international trade. Not only have they reduced over-all freight rates, thereby reshaping competition between  the modes, but they have also had a profound  effect on transport  systems. Ships spend far less time in port, enabling ships to make many more revenue-generating trips per year. Efficiency in the airports, rail facilities and ports greatly improves the effectiveness of transportation as a whole.

Activities in transport terminals represent not just exchanges of goods and people, but constitute an important economic activity. Employment of people in various terminal operations represents an advantage to the local economy. Dockers, baggage handlers, crane operators,  and air traffic controllers  are example of jobs generated directly by terminals. In addition there are a wide range of activities that are linked to transportation activity at the terminals. These include the actual carriers (airlines, shipping lines, etc.) and intermediate agents (customs brokers, forwarders) required to carry out the transfers. It is no accident that centers that perform major airport, port and rail functions are also important economic locales.

Terminals favor the agglomeration of related activities in their proximity and often adjacent to them (see Figure 5.4). This terminal–client link mainly involves warehousing and distribution (A). The contribution of transport terminals to regional economic growth can often be substantial. As the regional demand grows, so does the traffic handled by the related terminal. This in turn can spur further investments to expand the capabilities of the terminal and the creation of a new terminal altogether (B).

Economists  have identified  clusters  as a critical  element  in shaping  competition between  countries,  regions  and  industries  (Porter,  1990).  Clusters  are  defined  as a population  of interdependent  organizations  that operate in the same value chain and are geographically concentrated. This concept has been recently applied to seaports (de

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terminal

Terminal-dependent activities Agglomeration

Inter-terminal link

 

 

A                                                Terminal-client  link

Cluster Structure (Dis)agglomeration forces

Internal competition Cluster barriers Heterogeneity

Cluster governance Intermediaries Trust

Leader firms

Collective action regimes

 

 

 

 

 

Cluster performance

Value added

 

B

 

Figure 5.4    Terminals as clusters and growth poles

 

Langen, 2004). The seaport cluster is made up of firms engaged in the transfer of goods in the port and their onward distribution. It also includes logistics activities as well as processing firms and administrative  bodies. The performance of the seaport cluster is defined as the value added generated by the cluster, and is shaped by the interrelationships between the structure of the cluster and its governance. Cluster structure refers to the agglomeration  effects  and the degree  of internal  cohesion  and competition.  Cluster governance relates to the mix of, and relations between, organizations and institutions that foster coordination and pursue projects that improve the cluster as a whole. When applied to the port of Rotterdam, it was suggested that a key role was played by the intermediary firms, those that operated services and activities for core transport firms. High levels of trust between firms led to lower transaction costs, and leader firms were very significant because they helped strengthen the agglomeration.

Presented  as a new approach,  cluster  theory  is extending  what others,  including geographers,  have recognized  for some time, that port activity,  historically  at least, generates strong agglomeration  economies  that produce strong spatially distinct port communities (Slack, 1989). Despite similarities in results from economic impact studies, airports and rail terminals have not yet received the attention of cluster theorists.

 

 

Concept  2 – Terminals  and location

 

Location and spatial relations play a significant role in the performance and development of transport terminals. As in all locational phenomena there are two dimensions involved. First is the issue of site, or absolute  location. Terminals  occupy very specific  sites, usually with stringent requirements. Their site determinants may play an important role in shaping performance. The second component is relative location, or location relative to other terminals in the network. The spatial relations of terminals are an extremely important  factor  in  shaping  competition.  Together,  absolute  and  relative  locations provide justification  for the fundamental  significance  of geography  in understanding transport terminals.

The nature of the function of the terminal is critical to understand its site features. Locations are determined according to the mode and the types of activities carried on.

 

 

As will be explained below, the period of time when site development took place is also a factor in site selection and elaboration.

 

 

Port  sites

 

Ports are bound by the need to serve ships, and so access to navigable water has been historically the most important site consideration. Before the industrial revolution, ships were the most efficient means of transporting goods, and thus port sites were frequently chosen at the head of water navigation, the most upstream site (Bird, 1963). Many major cities owed their early pre-eminence to this fact: London on the Thames and Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. Sites on tidal waterways created a particular problem for shipping because of the twice-daily rise and fall of water levels at the berths, and there developed by the eighteenth century the technology of enclosed docks, with lock gates. Because ship transfers were slow, and vessels typically spent weeks in port, a large number of berths were required. This frequently gave rise to the construction of piers and jetties to increase the number of berths per given length of shoreline.

Over time, changes in ships and handling gave rise to new site requirements. By the post-World War II period a growing specialization  of vessels emerged, especially the development of bulk carriers. These ships were the first to achieve significant economies of scale, and their size grew very quickly. For example the world’s largest oil tanker in

1947 was only 27,000 dwt, by the mid-1970s it was in excess of 500,000 dwt. There was thus a growing vessel specialization and increase in size which resulted in new site requirements, especially the need for dock space and greater depths of water. These site changes and developments in port infrastructure were captured in the Anyport model of port evolution developed by Bird. Based on evidence of the evolution of British ports, Bird (1963) originally proposed a five-stage model to demonstrate how facilities in a typical port develop. Starting from the initial port site with small lateral quays adjacent to the town center, the elaboration of wharfs is the product of evolving maritime technologies and improvements in cargo handling.

Figure 5.5 summarizes the stages in three phases:

 

Setting. The initial setting of a port is strongly dependent on geographical consider- ations. On the example in Figure 5.5, the setting is related to the furthest point of

inland navigation by sailing ships. The port evolves from the original site close to the city center, and is characterized by several simple quays (1). For many centuries until the industrial revolution, ports remained rather rudimentary  in terms of their

 

Setting                         Expansion                                      Specialization

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4         4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

1                                   2                                              5

2      3                                                               4                  4

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown

Urban expansion

Terminal facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port-related activities

      Rail

Water depth        Highway

 

Reconversion

 

 

Figure 5.5    The evolution of a port (based on the Anyport model)

 

 

terminal facilities. Port-related activities were mainly focused on warehousing and wholesaling, located on sites directly adjacent to the port.

Expansion. The industrial revolution triggered several changes that impacted on port

activities. Quays were expanded, and jetties were constructed to handle the growing

amounts of freight and passengers as well as larger ships (2). As the size of ships expanded, shipbuilding became an activity that required the construction of docks (3). Further, the integration of rail lines with port terminals enabled access to vast hinterlands  with a proportional  growth  in maritime  traffic.  Port-related  activities also expanded to include industrial activities. This expansion mainly occurred downstream.

Specialization.   The  next  phase  involved  the  construction  of  specialized  piers

to handle  freight  such  as containers,  ores,  grain,  petroleum  and coal (4), which

expanded warehousing needs significantly. Larger high-capacity ships often required dredging or the construction of long jetties, granting access to greater depths. This evolution implied for several ports a migration of their activities away from their original setting and an increase of their handling capacities.  In turn, original port sites, commonly  located  adjacent  to downtown  areas, became  obsolete  and were abandoned.  Numerous  reconversion  opportunities  of port  facilities  to other  uses (waterfront parks, housing and commercial developments) were created (5).

 

Bird suggested  that Anyport was intended not to display a pattern into which all ports must be forced, but to provide a base with which to compare the development of actual ports. The model has been tested in a variety of different conditions. While local conditions  do produce  differences  in detail,  there are sufficient  similarities  to make the Anyport concept a useful description of port morphological development. The emergence of new container terminals continues the trend towards specialization  and the search for sites adjacent to deeper water. A number of authors have amended the original Anyport model to include more recent developments (Charlier, 1992; McCalla,

2004).

One of the features that Anyport brings out is the changing relation between ports and their host cities. The model describes the growing repulsion by the rest of the urban milieu. This aspect has been worked upon over the last two decades by a number of geographers  investigating  the redevelopment  of harbor land. Hoyle (1988) proposed an Anyport-type model, which instead of stressing the port infrastructure development, emphasizes  the changing linkages between the port and the city. One of these urban linkages is the redevelopment of old port sites for other urban uses, such as Docklands in London and Harborfront in Baltimore.

 

 

Airport  sites

 

Airports  require  very large sites. They need space  for runways,  terminal  buildings, maintenance hangars and parking. While there are considerable variations in the scale of different  airports,  minimum  sizes  in excess  of 500 hectares  represent  enormous commitments  of urban land. Thus, airports are sited at the periphery of urban areas, because it is only there that sufficient quantities of land are available. Many airports built in the 1940s and 1950s on the periphery now find themselves surrounded by subsequent metropolitan development. Pearson Airport (Toronto) and O’Hare Airport (Chicago) are examples. These airports have served as growth poles, drawing commercial, industrial as well as residential developments to those sectors of the city (McCalla et al., 2001).

New site development today, in North America and Europe at least, is becoming very difficult because available sites are frequently so far from the urban core that even if

 

 

planning permission could be obtained, it would lead to very significant diseconomies because of the distance from business and demographic cores. It is significant that there have been few new large-scale airport developments in North America over the last 30 years, and the examples of Denver and Montreal illustrate how difficult and contentious development  has been (Goetz and Szyliowicz,  1997). The result has been that most airports have to adjust to their existing sites, by reconfiguring runways and renovating existing terminal facilities, as for example Chicago and Toronto.

 

 

Rail terminal sites

 

Rail terminals,  because  they are not as space-extensive  as airports  and ports, suffer somewhat less from site constraints. Many rail terminals were established in the nineteenth century during the heyday of rail development, and while the sites may have been on the edge of urban areas at the time, they now find themselves surrounded by urban development. Individually, rail terminals may not be as extensive as airports or ports, but cumulatively  the area of all the rail sites in a city may exceed those of the other modes. For example, in Chicago the combined area of rail freight yards exceeds that of the airports.

Passenger rail terminals are typically in the heart of downtown cores. At one time their sites may have been on the edge of the pre-industrial city, as is the case for London and Paris but today they are very much part of the CBD. The stations are typically imposing  buildings  reflecting  the power  and importance  represented  by the railway in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Grand Central Station in New York or St. Pancras station in London are impressive architectural achievements unmatched in any other type of transportation  terminal. As rail passenger  traffic has declined,  the need for many of these stations has diminished, and a rationalization has resulted in the conversion of many stations to other uses, sometimes with striking effects, such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and Windsor Station in Montreal.

Rail freight yards did not have to be quite so centrally located, and because they required a great deal of space for multiple tracks for marshalling they were more likely located on entirely greenfield sites than the passenger terminals. However, rail yards tended to attract manufacturing activities, and thus became important industrial zones.

By the end of the twentieth century many of the industries around rail freight yards had relocated  or disappeared,  and in many cities these former industrial  parks have been targets of urban revitalization. This has been accompanied by closure of some of the rail yards, either because they were too small for contemporary operating activities, or because of shrinkage  of traffic base. However,  in North America many older rail freight yards have been converted into intermodal facilities because of the burgeoning traffic involving containers and road trailers. The ideal configuration for these terminals, however, is different from the typical general freight facility with their need for multiple spurs to permit the assembling of wagons to form train blocks. Intermodal trains tend to serve a more limited number of cities and are more likely to be dedicated to one destination. The need here is for long but fewer rail spurs. The configuration typically requires a site over three kilometers in length and over 100 hectares in area. In addition, good access to the highway system is a requisite as well as a degree of automation to handle the transshipment demands of modern intermodal rail operations.

In some cases, the existing stock of terminals has been found to be wanting in terms of configuration or location with regards to expressways. Thus, new rail yards have been built on the fringe of metropolitan areas, such as Canadian Pacific’s Vaughan terminal or Canadian National’s Brampton facilities in Toronto.

 

 

Relative location

 

Geographers have long recognized situation, or relative location, as an important component of location. It refers to the position of places with regard to other places. Accessibility is relative, because the situation of places changes over time. For example, ports in the Mediterranean were in the heart of the western world during the Greek and Roman eras, and Genoa and Venice prospered during the Middle Ages. The exploitation of the Americas  changed  the location  of these places, since the Mediterranean  now became a backwater. The opening of the Suez Canal in the nineteenth century refocused the relative location of the Mediterranean again.

Spatial relationships between terminals are a vital element in competition, particularly for ports and rail terminals, and geographers have developed a number of concepts to explore these locational features (Fleming and Hayuth, 1994).

 

Centrality. One of the most enduring concepts in urban geography is central place theory, with its emphasis on centrality as a feature of the urban hierarchy. Cities more

centrally located to markets are larger with a wider range of functions. Transport accessibility is equated with size, and thus many large terminals arise out of centrality. Examples include Heathrow Airport, London, whose traffic pre-eminence is related to the city’s location in the heart of the most developed part of Britain, as well as Britain’s functional centrality to its former empire. The port of New York owes its pre-eminence in part to the fact that it is at the heart of the largest market area in the USA.

Intermediacy.  This term is applied to the frequent  occurrence  of places gaining

advantage because they are between other places. The ability to exploit transshipment

has been an important feature of many terminals. Anchorage,  for example, was a convenient  airport  located  on  the  great  circle  air  routes  between  Asia,  Europe and Continental  USA. For many years passengers  alighted here while the planes refueled. The growth of long-haul jets has made this activity diminish considerably, and Anchorage now joins the list of once important airports, such as Gander, Newfoundland, that have seen their relative locations change because of technological improvements.  It  should  be  noted,  however,  that Anchorage  continues  to  fulfill its intermediacy  role for air freight  traffic.  Other examples  include  Chicago,  the dominant US rail hub, that is not only a major market area in its own right (centrality) but also lies at the junction of the major eastern and western railroad networks. Ports too can exploit advantages of intermediate locations. The largest container port in the Mediterranean is Giaoa Tauro, located on the toe of Italy. A few years ago the port did not exist, but because of its location close to the main East–West shipping lanes through the Mediterranean it has been selected as a hub, where the large mother ships can transfer containers to smaller vessels for distribution to the established markets in the northern Mediterranean, a classic hub-and-spoke network.

 

 

Hinterland and foreland

 

One of the most enduring concepts in transport geography, especially applied to ports, is the hinterland. It refers to the market area of ports, the land areas from which the port draws and distributes traffic. Two types of hinterland are sometimes  noted. The term natural or primary hinterland refers to the market area for which the port is the closest terminal. It is assumed that this zone’s traffic will normally pass through the port, because of proximity. The competitive hinterland is used to describe the market areas over which the port has to compete with other terminals for business (see Figure 5.6).

 

 

Hinterland

B

 

 

A                                                                    D C

Foreland

   
 

Main hinterland

 

 

 

   
Competition margin  

 

 

 

Figure 5.6    Port foreland and hinterland

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hinterland is a land space over which a transport terminal, such as a port, sells its services and interacts with its clients. It accounts for the regional market share that a terminal has relative to a set of other terminals servicing this region. It regroups all the customers directly bounded to the terminal. The terminal, depending on its nature, serves as a place of convergence for the traffic coming by roads, railways or by sea/fluvial feeders.

 

In recent years, the validity of the hinterland concept has been questioned, especially in the context of contemporary containerization (Slack, 1993). The mobility provided by the container has greatly facilitated market penetration, so that many ports compete over the same market areas for business. The notion of discrete hinterlands with well-defined boundaries is questionable therefore. Nevertheless, the concept is still widely employed, and port authorities continue to emphasize their port’s centrality to hinterland areas in their promotional literature.

The term foreland is the oceanward mirror of hinterland, referring to the ports and overseas markets linked by shipping services from the port. It is above all a maritime space with which a port performs commercial relationships. It includes overseas customers  with which the port undertakes  commercial  exchanges.  The provision  of services to a wide range of markets around the world is considered to be an advantage.

In academic studies there have been far fewer assessments of foreland than hinterland, yet in port publicity documents  the foreland is usually one of the elements stressed. Geographers have long criticized the distinction, arguing that foreland and hinterland should be seen as a continuum, rather than separate and distinct elements. This point has achieved greater weight recently, with the emergence of door-to-door services and networks, where the port is seen as one link in through transport chains (Notteboom and Winkelmans, 2001; Robinson, 2002).

 

 

Concept  3 – Terminals  and security

 

A new context in transport security

 

As locations where passengers and freight are assembled and dispersed, terminals have always been a focus of concern about security and safety. Because railway stations and airports  are some of the most densely  populated  sites anywhere,  crowd control and safety have been issues that have preoccupied managers for a long time. Access is monitored and controlled, and movements are channeled along pathways that provide

 

 

safe access to and from platforms and gates. In the freight industry, security concerns have been directed in two areas: worker safety and theft. Traditionally, freight terminals have been dangerous work places. With heavy goods being moved around yards and loaded onto vehicles using large mobile machines, accidents are systemic. Significant improvements  have been made over the years, through worker education  and better organization of operations, but freight terminals are still comparatively hazardous. The issue of theft has been one of the most severe problems confronting all types of freight terminals, especially where high value goods are being handled. Docks, in particular, have been seen as places where organized crime has established control over local labor unions. Over the years access to freight terminals has been increasingly restricted, and the deployment of security personnel has helped control theft somewhat.

While issues of safety and security have concerned terminal planners and managers for many years, it is only recently that this has become an over-riding issue. Concerns were already being raised before the Millennium, but the tragic events of 9/11 thrust the issue of terminal security into the public domain as never before and set in motion responses that are reshaping transportation  in unforeseen ways (Rodrigue and Slack,

2002).

 

 

Passengers

 

Airports have been the focus of security concerns for many decades. Hijacking aircraft came to the fore in the 1970s, when terrorist groups in the Middle East exploited the lack  of security  to commandeer  planes  for ransom  and  publicity.  Refugees  fleeing dictatorships also found taking over aircraft a possible route to freedom. In response, the airline industry and the international regulatory body, ICAO, established screening procedures for passengers and bags. This process seems to have worked in the short run at least, with reductions in hijackings, although terrorists changed their tactics by placing bombs in unaccompanied luggage and packages, as for example in the Air India crash off Ireland in 1985 and the Lockerbie, Scotland, crash of Pan Am 103 in 1988.

The growth in passenger traffic and the development  of hub-and-spoke  networks placed a great deal of strain on the security process. There were wide disparities in the effectiveness of passenger screening at different airports, and because passengers were being routed by hubs, the numbers of passengers  in transit through the hub airports grew significantly. Concerns were being raised by some security experts, but the costs of improving screening and the need to process ever larger numbers of passengers and maintain flight schedules caused most carriers to oppose tighter security measures.

The situation was changed irrevocably by the events of September 11, 2001. The US government  created the Department  of Homeland Security which in turn established a Transportation  Security Authority  to oversee  the imposition  of strict new security measures on the industry. Security involves many steps, from restricting access to airport facilities, fortifying cockpits, to the more extensive security screening of passengers. Screening now involves more rigorous inspections of passengers and their baggage at airports. For foreign nationals, inspection  employs biometric identification,  which at present involves checking fingerprints, but in the future may include retinal scans and facial pattern recognition. A new system, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System  (CAPPS  II), is proposed  that  will  require  more  personal  information  from travelers  when they book their flights, which will lead to a risk assessment  of each passenger. Passengers considered as high risk will be further screened.

The imposition of these measures has come at a considerable cost. In the USA alone, it is estimated that the expense of additional airport security is $6 billion. A significant factor has been the integration of screeners into the federal workforce, with important

 

 

increases in salaries and training costs. The purchase of improved screening machines, and the redesigning of airport security procedures have been important cost additions. These measures have also had a major influence on passenger throughputs.  Clearing security has become the most important  source of delays in the passenger  boarding process. Passengers are now expected to arrive 2 hours before departure at the terminal in order to clear security.

The security issues have had a very negative effect on the air transport industry. As reviewed above, not only have costs increased, but also delays and inconveniences  to passengers have produced a downturn in demand. Coming on top of a slowdown in the business cycle after the stock market downturns in the first decade of the new century, most airlines have suffered considerable  financial reversals, with many of the largest seeking  court  protection  from  bankruptcy.  Business  travel,  the  most  lucrative  sub- market for the airlines, has suffered a particularly  sharp decline. Anecdotal evidence suggests that passengers are switching to other modes for shorter trips so as to avoid the time delays and aggravation caused by the security process.

 

 

Freight

 

Security in the freight industry has always been a major problem. Illegal immigrants, drug smuggling, piracy, and the deployment  of sub-standard  vessels have been some of the most important concerns. However, as in the air passenger business, the events of 9/11 highlighted a new set of security issues. The scale and scope of these problems in freight is of an even greater magnitude. The less regulated and greater international dimensions  of the shipping  industry,  in particular,  have made it a vulnerable  target in an era of global terrorism. The number of ports, the vast fleet of global shipping and the range of products carried in vessels, and the difficulty of detection has made the issue of security in shipping an extremely difficult one to address. The container, which has greatly facilitated globalization, makes it extremely difficult to identify illicit and/or dangerous  cargoes. In the absence of scanners that can X-ray the entire box, manual inspection becomes a time consuming and virtually impossible task. Hubbing compounds the problem, as large numbers of containers are required to be handled with minimum delays and inconvenience.

In the USA, the response was to enact the Maritime Transportation  and Security Act in 2002. The basic elements of this legislation were adopted by the International Maritime  Organization  (IMO) in December  2002 as the International  Ship and Port Security code (ISPS). There are three important features of these interventions.  First, is the requirement of an automated identity system (AIS) for all vessels between 300 and 50,000 dwt. AIS requires vessels to have a permanently marked and visible identity number, and there must be a record maintained of its flag, port of registry and address of the registered owner. Second, each port must undertake a security assessment. This involves an assessment of its assets and facilities and of the effects of damage that might be caused. The port must then evaluate the risks, and identify weaknesses to its physical security, communication  systems, utilities, etc. Third, is that all cargoes destined for the USA must receive customs clearance prior to the departure of the ship. In addition, it is proposed that biometric identification for seafarers will be implemented and that national databases of sailors will be maintained.

The ISPS code is being implemented in ports around the world. Without certification, a port would have difficulty in trading with the USA. Security is thus becoming a factor in a port’s competitiveness. The need to comply with ISPS has become an urgent issue in ports large and small around the world. The costs of securing sites, of undertaking risk assessments,  and of monitoring  ships  all represent  an additional  cost of doing

 

 

business, without any commercial return. US ports have been able to tap funding from the Department  of Homeland  Security,  but foreign ports have to comply or risk the loss of business. Security has become an additional element in determining competitive advantage.

 

 

Method  1 – The Gini coefficient

 

Definition

 

The Gini coefficient was developed to measure the degree of concentration (inequality) of a variable in a distribution of its elements. It compares the Lorenz curve of a ranked empirical  distribution  with the line of perfect  equality.  This line assumes  that each element has the same contribution to the total summation of the values of a variable. The Gini coefficient ranges between 0, where there is no concentration  (perfect equality), and 1, where there is total concentration (perfect inequality).

Figure 5.7 is a graphical representation of the proportionality  of a distribution (the cumulative percentage of the values). To build the Lorenz curve, all the elements of a distribution must be ordered, from the most important to the least important. Then, each element is plotted according to their cumulative  percentage  of X and Y, X being the cumulative percentage of elements. For instance, out of a distribution of 10 elements (N), the first element would represent 10 percent of X and whatever percentage of Y it represents (this percentage must be the highest in the distribution). The second element would cumulatively represent 20 percent of X (its 10 percent plus the 10 percent of the first element) and its percentage of Y plus the percentage of Y of the first element.

The  Lorenz  curve  is compared  with  the perfect  equality  line,  which  is a linear relationship that plots a distribution where each element has an equal value in its shares of X and Y. For instance, in a distribution of 10 elements, if there is perfect equality, the

5th element would have a cumulative percentage of 50 percent for X and Y. The perfect equality line forms an angle of 45 degrees with a slope of 100/N. The perfect inequality line represents a distribution where one element has the total cumulative percentage of Y while the others have none.

The Gini coefficient is defined graphically as a ratio of two surfaces involving the summation of all vertical deviations between the Lorenz curve and the perfect equality line (A) divided by the difference between the perfect equality and perfect inequality lines (A + B).

 

 

 

100

 

Perfect inequality line

 

 

B

 

50                              A

 

 

 

 

 

0                               50

Gini = A/(A+B)

100

 

 

Figure 5.7    The Lorenz curve

Cumulative  % of X

 

 

 

No concentration                Some concentration

High concentration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A                                             B                                 C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative facilities

 

Figure 5.8    Traffic concentration and Lorenz curves

 

 

Figure 5.8 shows a simple system of five ports along a coast. In case A, the traffic for each port is the same, so there is no concentration and thus no inequality. The Lorenz curve of this distribution is the same as the perfect equality line; they overlap. In case B, there is some concentration of the traffic in two ports and this concentration is reflected in the Lorenz curve. Case C represents a high level of concentration in two ports and the Lorenz curve is significantly different to the perfect equality line.

 

 

Calculating the Gini coefficient (G)

 

The coefficient represents the area of concentration between the Lorenz curve and the line of perfect equality as it expresses a proportion of the area enclosed by the triangle defined by the line of perfect equality and the line of perfect inequality. The closer the coefficient is to 1, the more unequal the distribution.

N

G =1−∑(σYi−1 + σYi )(σX i−1 − σX i )

i=0

 

Table 5.1 shows a hypothetical set of terminals with varying amounts of traffic. X refers to the traffic proportion if the traffic was distributed evenly throughout all the terminals. Y refers to the actual proportion of traffic at each terminal. σX and σY are cumulative  percentages  of Xs and Ys (in fractions) and N is the number of elements (observations).

The Gini coefficient for this distribution is 0.427 (|1 – 1.427|).

 

Table 5.1    Calculating the Gini coefficient

 

Terminal Traffic X Y σX σY σXi–1  σXi  (B) σYi–1  + σYi  (A) A*B
A 25,000 0.2 0.438 0.2 0.438 0.2 0.438 0.088
B 18,000 0.2 0.316 0.4 0.754 0.2 1.192 0.238
C 9,000 0.2 0.158 0.6 0.912 0.2 1.666 0.333
D 3,000 0.2 0.053 0.8 0.965 0.2 1.877 0.375
E 2,000 0.2 0.035 1.0 1.000 0.2 1.965 0.393
Total 57,000 1.0 1.000         1.427

 

 

Geographers have used the Gini coefficient in numerous instances, such as assessing income distribution among a set of contiguous regions (or countries) or to measure other spatial phenomena such as racial segregation and industrial location. Its major purpose as a method in transport geography has been related to measuring the concentration of traffic, mainly at terminals,  such as assessing  changes in port system concentration. Economies of scale in transportation favor the concentration of traffic at transport hubs, so the Gini coefficient of maritime traffic has tended to increase over recent decades, although perhaps not to the degree that has been expected (McCalla, 1999).

 

 

Method  2 – Delphi forecasting

 

Introduction

 

Delphi forecasting is a non-quantitative  technique for forecasting. Unlike many other methods  that use so-called  objective  predictions  involving  quantitative  analysis,  the Delphi method is based on expert opinions. It has been demonstrated that predictions obtained in this way can be at least as accurate as other procedures. The essence of the procedure is to use the assessment of opinions and predictions by a number of experts over a number of rounds in carefully managed sequences.

One of the most important factors in Delphi forecasting is the selection of experts. The persons invited to participate must be knowledgeable about the issue, and represent a variety of backgrounds. The number must not be too small to make the assessment too narrowly based, nor too large to be difficult to coordinate. It is widely considered that

10 to 15 experts can provide a good base for the forecast.

 

 

Procedure

 

The  procedure  begins  with  the  planner/researcher  preparing  a  questionnaire  about the issue at hand, its character, causes and future shape. These are distributed to the respondents separately who are asked to rate and respond. The results are then tabulated and the issues raised are identified.

The results are then returned to the experts in a second round. They are asked to rank or assess the factors, and justify why they made their choices. During a third or subsequent rounds their ratings along with the group averages, and lists of comments are provided, and the experts are asked to re-evaluate the factors. The rounds continue until an agreed level of consensus is reached. The literature suggests that by the third round a sufficient consensus is usually obtained.

The procedure may take place in many ways. The first step is usually undertaken by mail. After the initial results are obtained the subsequent round could be undertaken at a meeting of experts, assuming it would be possible to bring them together physically. Or, the subsequent rounds could be conducted again by mail. E-mail has greatly facilitated the procedure. The basic steps are as follows:

 

Identification of the problem. A researcher identifies the problem for which some predictions are required, e.g. what is the traffic of port X likely to be in 10 years time?

The researcher prepares documentation  regarding past and present traffic activity. A questionnaire  is formulated  concerning  future traffic estimates  and factors that might influence such developments. A level of agreement between the responses is selected, e.g. if 80 percent of the experts can agree on a particular traffic prediction.

 

 

Selection  of experts.  In the case of a port scenario  this might  include  terminal managers,  shipping  line  representatives,  land  transport  company  representatives,

intermediaries  such as freight forwarders, and academics. It is important to have a balance, so that no one group is overly represented.

Administration    of   questionnaire.    Experts   are   provided   with   background

documentation  and the questionnaire.  Responses  are submitted  to the researcher

within a narrow time frame.

Researcher  summarizes  responses.  Actual  traffic  predictions  are tabulated  and

means and standard deviations calculated for each category of cargo as in the case of

a port traffic prediction exercise. Key factors suggested by experts are compiled and listed.

Feedback. The tabulations are returned to the experts, either by mail or in a meeting

convened to discuss first round results. The advantage of a meeting is that participants

can confront each other to debate areas of disagreement over actual traffic predictions or key factors identified. The drawback is that a few individuals might exert personal influence over the discussion and thereby sway outcomes, a trend that the researcher must be alert to and seek to mitigate. Experts are invited to review their original estimates and choices of key factors in light of the results presented, and submit a new round of predictions.

• These new predictions  are tabulated and returned to the experts either by mail or

immediately to the meeting, if the level of agreement does not meet the pre-determined

level of acceptance. The specific areas of disagreement  are highlighted, and the experts are again requested to consider their predictions in light of the panel’s overall views.

• The  process  is  continued  until  the  level  of  agreement  has  reached  the  pre-

determined value. If agreement is not possible after several rounds, the researcher

must terminate the process and try to pinpoint where the disagreements occur, and utilize the results to indicate specific problems in the traffic prediction process in this case.

 

This method could be applied in a classroom setting, with students serving as “experts” for a particular case study. The traffic at the local airport or port might be an appropriate example. On the basis of careful examination of traffic trends and factors influencing business activity, the class could be consulted to come up with predictions that could then be compared with those of some alternative method such as trend extrapolation.

 

 

References

 

Bird, J.H. (1963) The Major Seaports of the United Kingdom, London: Hutchinson. Caves, R.E. and G.D. Gosling (1999) Strategic Airport Planning, Oxford: Pergamon.

Charlier,  J. (1992)  “The Regeneration  of Old Port Areas  for New Port Uses”,  in B.S. Hoyle  and D.

Hilling (eds) Seaport Systems and Spatial Change, Chichester: Wiley, pp. 137–54.

De Langen,  P.W. (2004)  “Analysing  Seaport  Cluster  Performance”,  in D. Pinder  and B. Slack  (eds)

Shipping and Ports in the Twenty-first  Century, London: Routledge, pp. 82–98.

Fleming,  D.K. and Y. Hayuth  (1994)  “Spatial  Characteristics  of Transportation  Hubs: Centrality  and

Intermediacy”,  Journal of Transport Geography,  2, 3–18.

Goetz, A.R and J.S. Szyliowicz  (1997) “Revisiting  Transport Planning and Decision Making: the Case of Denver International Airport”, Transport Research, A 31, 263–80.

Haezendonck,  E. (2001) Essays on Strategy Analysis for Seaports, Leuven: Garant.

Hoyle, B.S. (1988) “Development  Dynamics at the Port–City Interface”, in B.S. Hoyle, D.A. Pinder and

M.S. Husain (eds) Revitalising  the Waterfront, Chichester: Wiley.

 

 

McCalla,   R.J.  (1999)  “From  St.  John’s  to  Miami:  Containerisation  at  Eastern  Seaboard   Ports”,

GeoJournal,   48, 15–28.

McCalla, R.J. (2004) “From ‘Anyport’ to ‘Superterminal’”, in D. Pinder and B. Slack (eds) Shipping and

Ports in the Twenty-first  Century,  London: Routledge,  pp. 123–42.

McCalla, R.J., B. Slack and C. Comtois (2001) “Intermodal  Freight Terminals:  Locality and Industrial

Linkages”, Canadian Geographer,   45, 404–13.

Notteboom, T.E. and W. Winkelmans (2001) “Structural Changes in Logistics: How Will Port Authorities

Face the Challenge?”,   Maritime Policy and Management,   28, 71–89.

Porter, M.E. (1990) The Competitive Advantage of Nations,  London: Macmillan.

Robinson, R. (2002) “Ports as Elements in Value-driven  Chain Systems: the New Paradigm”,  Maritime

Policy and Management,   29, 241–55.

Rodrigue,  J.-P. and B. Slack (2002) “Logistics  and National Security”,   in S.K. Majumdar  et al. (eds)

Science, Technology and National Security,  Easton, PA: Pennsylvania Academy of Science,  pp. 214–

25.

Slack, B. (1989) “The Port Service Industry in an Environment  of Change”,  Geoforum 20, 447–57. Slack, B. (1993) “Pawns in the game: ports in a global transportation  system”,   Growth and Change,

24, 579–88.

 

 

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