The importance of disaggregated freight flow forecasts to inform transport infrastructure investments

Havenga, Jan H. (2013-09)

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This article presents the results of a comprehensive disaggregated commodity flow model for South Africa. The wealth of data available enables a segmented analysis of future freight transportation demand in order to assist with the prioritisation of transportation investments, the development of transport policy and the growth of the logistics service provider industry. In 2011, economic demand for commodities in South Africa’s competitive surface-freight transport market amounted to 622 million tons and is predicted to increase to 1834m tons by 2041, which is a compound annual growth rate of 3.67%. Fifty percent of corridor freight constitutes break bulk; intermodal solutions are therefore critical in South Africa. Scenario analysis indicates that 80% of corridor break-bulk tons can by serviced by four intermodal facilities – in Gauteng, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. This would allow for the development of an investment planning hierarchy, enable industry targeting (through commodity visibility), ensure capacity development ahead of demand and lower the cost of logistics in South Africa.

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