Calculation of freight externality costs for South Africa

Swarts, Stefaan ; King, David ; Simpson, Zane ; Havenga, Jan H. ; Goedhals-Gerber, Leila (2012-11)

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The purpose of this study is to quantify the marginal external costs associated with freight transport in South Africa. Six cost elements are included as externality cost items, namely, costs related to accidents, emissions, roadway land availability, policing, noise and congestion. Inputs in the calculations were a gravity-oriented freight flow model, a road transport cost model, actual transport costs for other modes, a warehousing cost survey, an inventory delay calculation and various national sources of information such as accident statistics and government budgets. Estimation techniques resulted in advances for externality cost measurement in South Africa. The quantification of the cost elements will be used to update the South African Freight Demand Model. The results show that the cost of transportation would have been 20% more if external factors were taken into account. The marginal rates of externalities can be used to develop scenarios based on alternative choices for South Africa’s freight transport infrastructure configuration.

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