South Africa's domestic intermodal imperative

Havenga, Jan H. ; Simpson, Zane ; De Bod, Anneke (2012-12)

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An integrated alternative to road only or rail only transport does not exist in South Africa for domestic freight. This is in spite of the fact that national freight logistics costs are high, road infrastructure is challenged and concern for the environmental impact of road transport is increasing. These factors have renewed interest in intermodal transport solutions, which are the focus of this article. The question is whether a viable domestic intermodal solution can be found through segmenting freight flows and developing a business case based on these segments. The research confirms that this is possible and the segmentation and subsequent business case is presented. The results demonstrate that building three intermodal terminals to connect the three major industrial hubs – Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town – through an intermodal solution could reduce transport costs (including externalities) for the identified 22.9 million tons of intermodal freight flows on the Cape and the Natal corridors by 64% (including externalities).

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