Developing a mode choice model for New Zealand freight transportation.
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The aim of this research was to construct a freight mode choice model, from the perspective of New Zealand freight shippers, identifying the possibility of mode substitution effects.
Shipper’s freight modal choice depends on freight demand and infrastructure as well as the quality of service characteristics of alternative modes, such as transport cost, delivery time, reliability, damage and loss and frequency of service. Freight logistics characteristics, such as the attributes of the shipper, the attributes of the commodities to be transported, and the spatial attributes of shipments, strongly influence modal choice. In New Zealand, due to the heterogeneity of firms and issues of confidentiality and reliability of data, relatively little research has been done on modelling freight mode choice. This research involved revealed preference (RP) and stated preference (SP) surveys of representative freight shippers and agents. User-specific data make it possible to better identify the dependence between shipper’s mode shift behaviour and freight logistics in New Zealand circumstances. Moreover, by applying a discrete choice approach, the possibility of mode substitution effects was investigated. This research approach was prompted by substantial changes in New Zealand’s freight transport patterns due to the increasing use of logistic processes, and previously developed models using a four-stage approach fail to model elements of firms’ characteristics (i.e. size of shipments, delivery distance, export volume, product shelf-life, size and location of firm, number of road fleets, and relationship with contracted carriers).
The outcomes of this research have shown that many of the operational and logistical influences that affect mode choice vary with the shipper and the industry. As a result, public policy makers should recognize that effective policy must consider both the needs of the transportation service provider and user. In particular, the public policy maker should recognize that freight transport mode choice results from an array of interactions among transportation characteristics, logistics characteristics and product characteristics.