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An application of stated preference methods to the study of intermodal freight transport services in India

Shinghal, Nalin (1999) An application of stated preference methods to the study of intermodal freight transport services in India. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The Indian Railways (IR) have, over the past four decades, been steadily losing market share, in both passenger and freight markets. In the case of freight, they have gone from being the dominant mode to being carriers of bulk traffic only. Most of the general goods, high value, traffic has shifted to road. In line with the pattern of economic growth, the manufactured goods sector is the fastest growing sector of the economy. This leads on one hand, to exclusion of JR from an important, and growing, sector of the economy and on the other hand to heavy strains on the already saturated road network, higher environmental dis-benefits and higher costs of petroleum imports. The Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), a subsidiary of IR, is now attempting to enter the domestic freight market, to recapture some of this freight traffic. The present work has been taken up, with the final objective of developing a methodology, for identifying sectors where viable intermodal services can be offered, in comparison to road, as well as rail, services and to determine the price and service levels required for the same. In the absence of any revealed preference (RP) data, as well as any previous work on valuation of attributes for the different sectors, we have used an Adaptive Stated Preference (SP) design for our work. The Leeds Adaptive Stated Preference (LASP) software has been modified and used for the work. Various alternatives have also been examined, with regard to the approach to be used for analysis of the survey data and we have finally decided to use individual level models aggregated using weighted averages as these appear to provide the most robust estimates. We have developed models for costing of, door to door, freight movement by road, rail and intermodal services. These models have been used in conjunction with the demand model to assess the viability of the different services for the sectors considered. Our findings indicate that, using fully allocated door to door costs, rail is a clear leader for distances over about 500 Km, on cost basis alone. However, when the service quality factors are taken into account, intermodal services become more attractive for the high value, damage prone, products while road services are more attractive for the lower value products. Rail services break even under 1500 Km only in a few of the situations considered by us and Intermodal service break even under 1500 Km for a large number of the situations (in case of use of new high speed wagons this breakeven shifts to between 500 to 1000 Km). Rail services would need to match the quality of road services, or be priced on marginal cost basis, to be competitive, as compared to road services. Intermodal services can be quite profitable, with presently attained transit times using the older (BFK) wagons, if they are offered at least thrice a week. The larger firms also appear to be more likely to go for intermodal services, than smaller firms. In case of the newer, high speed wagons, the increased capital costs are offset by the gains due to faster turn-around and there is a substantial improvement in the quality of service (time & reliability) that can be provided. This provides an opportunity for a highly profitable service to be provided with the induction of the new wagons.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.664298
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 15:15
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2016 15:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11336

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