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Inland navigation: Determining factors of modality choice. Applied to the companies located in the ports of Zeeland Seaports
Meerburg, S. (2009). Inland navigation: Determining factors of modality choice. Applied to the companies located in the ports of Zeeland Seaports. MSc Thesis. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam/Zeeland Seaports: Rotterdam. 77 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation


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  • Meerburg, S., more

    In the strategic masterplan of Zeeland Seaports (ZSP), the ambition to increase the transported volume per inland navigation from 28.7 million tons in 2008 to 40 million tons in 2020 is presented. This growth must be realized by a combination of autonomous growth of the ports of ZSP and a modal shift.The autonomous growth that can lead to an increased volume per inland navigation is especially dependent on the upgrade of the Seine – Scheldt inland waterway connection, the developments in the Scaldia port, the Axelse vlakte and the containerization. The Seine – Scheldt inland waterway connection will result in approximately one million tons transported by inland navigation in 2020. It is uncertain what the impact of the developments in the Scaldia port will be. The impact of the Axelse vlakte is still unknown. Containerization will lead to maximal 240.000 TEU transported from the Scaldia container terminal in 2020. It is uncertain whether the other two initiatives, that potentially result in an additional 1.5 million TEU transported by inland navigation, will become operational. Next to the autonomous growth, also a modal shift can contribute to the aspired volume transported by inland navigation from and to the ports of ZSP in 2020. In such a modal shift, cargo that is currently transported per truck is shifted to the transport mode inland navigation.In order to stimulate such a modal shift, ZSP needs to gain insight in the factors that affect modality choice of companies located in the ports of ZSP. From literature is derived which factors influence modality choice most. Before inland navigation becomes an interesting modality to transport with, several basic conditions need to be present in a port. These are; a minimal required distance of transport, the right product characteristics and the efficiency of the port. The products that need to be transported do also have to meet several characteristics, for example large volumes and long keeping time. Also, the delivery time must not be to short, since inland navigation is not the fastest transport mode. Furthermore, both the shipper and the consignee need to be located at, or nearby a significant waterway. Efficiency affects the price and quality of the transport from and to a port. To learn what the impact of certain factors on modality choice is, four ‘determining factors’ are set up. These determining factors are supported by seventeen port indicators, that influence the quality of the parent factors. Below, an overview of the determining factors and underlying port indicators is presented.Determining factors Port indicatorsReliability Locks, nautical safety, infrastructure and superstructurePort efficiency (Costs;) transport costs, port tariffs, (speed;) transport speed of the modality, accessibility, infrastructure, superstructure, (other efficiency factors;) waiting quays and other facilities.Product characteristics Volume, weight, value and perishability of the productPerception / Image PromotionIn order to encourage a modal shift, ZSP needs to understand the impact of each of the factors influencing the modality choice. This can help ZSP to adapt their policy so that investments become more cost effective and the aspired model shift can be attained. To discover the importance of the individual factors, a hierarchy is required, where weights are allocated to the determining factors and their underlying port indicators. The best method to do this is, is using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), where pair wise comparisons are used to distribute weights over the factors that affect modality choice. A survey is distributed over three respondent groups, making use of the pair wise comparisons. The first respondent group exists out of companies located in the ports of ZSP that organize their own transport. Group two exists out of companies located in the ports of ZSP that do not organize their transport themselves. The last group exists out of inland ship

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