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Innovation in Road Freight Transport: Quantifying the Environmental Performance of Operational Cost-Reducing Practices

Valentin Carlan (), Christa Sys () and Thierry Vanelslander ()
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Valentin Carlan: Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Christa Sys: Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Thierry Vanelslander: Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 8, 1-26

Abstract: Road transportation is a key mode of transport when it comes to ensuring the hinterland connection of most European ports. Constrained by low profit margins and having to be active in a highly competitive market, companies active in this sector seek multi-dimensional innovative solutions that lower their operational costs. These innovative initiatives also yield positive environmental effects. The latter however are poorly recognized. This paper investigates the characteristics of different types of chassis used to transport containers from and to the terminals in the port areas and looks into the details of operational planning practices. It analyses the cost-effectiveness of these innovative solutions highlighting both the costs and the environmental emissions they save. Transport data from a road hauler serving the hinterland connection of a port in Western Europe is used to build up a case study. Results show that by using special types of chassis, which enable the combination of transport tasks in round-trips, the operational costs are reduced by 25% to 35%, and equally the CO 2 emissions are also decreased by 34% to 38%.

Keywords: road transport innovation; cost effectiveness analysis; environmental performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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