The development of a freight flow segmentation methodology to inform rail reform : a South African case study

Simpson, Zane Paul (2013-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Global rail reform is an important topic, especially seen against a backdrop of a worldwide requirement to facilitate modal shift back to rail. This modal shift is required because of growing environmental issues and rising freight cost concerns. Appropriate rail reform is also required to create an environment for South Africa’s freight railway to sustainably achieve modal shift to reverse this trend. This research is based on an idealised design approach that postulates an ideal virtual railway for South Africa, based on Transport Economic and market segmentation principles. It is accepted that major investment will be required to realise this ideal railway, but the exact role, positioning, institutional and organisational structures of the railway system require clarification. The established approach to provide this clarification in a typical business is, first and foremost, to understand the market that needs to be served through appropriate market segmentation. In this regard, the research presents: • an overview of South Africa’s surface freight transport industry, including the specific challenges faced by the industry and the historical evolution of the industry; • a benchmarking exercise of South Africa’s rail system against global rail systems; • a summary of global rail reform case references; • the need for transport economic regulation; • an analysis of current total surface freight flows (road and rail) across the geography of the country’s transport corridors, culminating in a freight flow market segmentation for South Africa informed by rail’s economic fundamentals; • the resultant effect of this analysis on the framing of an idealised network design; and • a rail reform proposal based on the idealised design. The research ‘imagines’ that the country has no existing railway system and analyse the manner in which specific freight (commodities and cargo types) actually flows from origin to destination by all modes of transport within the country’s freight logistics industry. The result of the freight market segmentation exercise informs the crafting of an ideal network. Using this ideal network as a starting point, the most appropriate rail reform option is considered against the background of benchmarking the current system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die wêreldwye beweging vir ‘n modale verskuiwing terug na spoor is ‘n belangrike faktor wanneer spoorhervorming ter sake kom. Dit word as gevolg van die toenemende klem wat op omgewingskwessies gelê word en stygende vervoerkostes, vereis. Toepaslike spoorhervorming is ook in Suid-Afrika belangrik sodat‘n omgewing waarin Suid – Afrika se vragvervoer volhoubaar modale verskuiwing kan bereik, geskep kan word om sodoende ‘n modale verskuiwing te bewerkstellig. Die navorsing in hierdie tesis word op ‘n geïdealiseerde ontwerp benadering gegrond wat die ideale spoorweg vir Suid – Afrika postuleer. Vervoerekonomiese en marksegmenteringsbeginsels vorm die grondslag van die ontwerp. Beduidende investering sal benodig word om hierdie ideale spoorweg te laat realiseer, maar die presiese rol, posisionering, en institusionele en organisatoriese strukture van die spoorwegsisteem is nog onduidelik. Die gevestigde navorsingsgefundeerde benadering om hierdie vraagstuk te benader is om eerstens markvraag deur middel van marksegmentering, te bepaal. In hierdie opsig bied die navorsing: • ‘n oorsig van Suid–Afrika se landvragvervoerbedryf, insluitend die spesifieke uitdagings en historiese evolusie van die bedryf; • ‘n nomrstellingsoefening van Suid–Afrika se spoorsisteem teen globale spoorsisteme; • ‘n opsomming van globale spoorhervorminggevallestudies; • die behoefte aan vervoerekonomiese regulering; • ‘n analise van die huidige landvragvloeivolumes (pad en spoor) regoor die land se vervoerkorridors wat in ‘n vragvloeimarksegmentering vir Suid–Afrika uitloop, • die gevolglike effek van die analise op die ontwerp van ‘n geïdealiseerde network; en • ‘n spoorhervormingvoorstel gegrond op die geïdealiseerde ontwerp. Hierdie navorsing gebruik ‘n virtuele benadering naamlik dat die land geen bestaande spoorwegsisteem het nie en analiseer die vraag na vervoer op die fynste moontlike vlak. Die resultaat van die vragsegmenteringoefening word gebruik om die ideale netwerk te bou. Deur die gebruik van die ideale netwerk as ‘n uitgangspunt word die mees geskikte spoorhervormingopsie oorweeg met normstelling van die huidige sisteem as ‘n vergelykende agtergrond.

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