Sustainable freight transport in South Africa : domestic intermodal solutions

Havenga, Jan H. ; Simpson, Zane ; Fourie, Pieter F. ; De Bod, Anneke (2011-11)

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Due to the rapid deregulation of freight transport in South Africa two decades ago, and low historical investment in rail (with resultant poor service delivery), an integrated alternative to road and rail competition was never developed. High national freight logistics costs, significant road infrastructure challenges and environmental impact concerns of a road-dominated freight transport market have, however, fuelled renewed interest in intermodal transport solutions. In this article, a high-level business case for domestic intermodal solutions in South Africa is presented. The results demonstrate that building three intermodal terminals to connect the three major industrial hubs (i.e. Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town) through an intermodal solution could reduce transport costs (including externalities) for the identified 11.5 million tons of intermodalfriendly freight flows on the Cape and Natal corridors by 42% (including externalities).

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