Freight for Trade: Do We Have Enough Data to Analyse?

The Midlands region has nationally important clusters in manufacturing (including automotive and transport equipment) and logistics (including the “Golden Triangle” and the UK’s leading freight-oriented airport). Understanding the demands of those industries is essential in allowing Midlands Connect to fulfil its objectives to develop the right transport network to allow industries to prosper, supporting the long-term success of the region. This will support economic output objectives through road and rail transport sectors. It is therefore important to understanding current mode choices and routes to air/ports across the UK by road and rail. Also, the types of goods and sectors currently using each air/port, the geographic distribution of trade-dependent sectors, accessibility by journey time and reliability and costs of delay to the industry, both direct and indirect. To achieve the objectives three-fold analysis is conducted. Firstly, analysis of international gateways and key trends through gateways data analysis by goods imported and exported by air/port, type of transportation (LoLo and RoRo), handled goods volume by air/port, mode, and destination by country. Also, trends analysis by change in freight by port, linked to destinations. Secondly, the importance of trade to the Midlands region is analysed in value, by economic sector and trends analysis of sectors growth over years. Finally, the domestic road and rail routes to air/ports gateways is analysed through key corridors for freight, pinch point analysis, road capacity for time of the day. This employs analysis of access to ports through accessibility Isochrones and analysis of corridor performance through speed and journey time reliability analysis. The majority of the Midlands is situated at a four-hour drive time from all international gateways (enabling a nine-hour return time allowed by legislation for drivers). However, accessibility isochrones and delay statistics shows that the impact on journeys can push the return journey times beyond allowable limits, causing significant overhead/indirect costs beyond the cost of journey time delay. This led to an industry workshop to define what the indirect costs could potentially mean for the industry and development of a methodology for measuring delay, and associated cost impact for use in the appraisal of investments to improve reliability. The preliminary findings of the implications of indirect costs are “more than ten times” the direct costs and are widely varied in nature. The approach adopted here is based on extensive research on available data for the Midlands and the UK to establish the baseline and trends. This has led to development of a methodology for the capture of true cost to industry through delays and unreliability. It is recommended that the analysis adopted here, and the methodology is applied to the rest of the UK, Europe and wider.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: European Transport Conference 2020

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766122
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 10 2021 4:17PM