Intermodality, E-Commerce, Logistics and Sustainability
Edited by Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri
1. The global economy and freight transport ﬂows Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri INTRODUCTION Freight transportation has always been an integral component of economic development. It has now emerged as one of the most critical and dynamic aspects of the transport sector, where change has become the norm. Freight transportation is the main element supporting global commodity and more generally supply chains, complex and functionally integrated networks of production, trade and service activities that cover all stages of production from the transformation of raw materials to market distribution and after market services (Nijkamp 2003). Yet the rising cost and complexity of shipping and delivering goods is adding to proﬁt pressures faced by manufacturers across the globe. However, as a result of the surge in global activities over the past ten years, this theme has taken on new dimensions and importance. Highway ﬂows have long dominated freight ﬂows in Europe and North America. By 2020, the US highway system and truck ﬂeet will move 18 billion tonnes of the domestic volume and over 1 billion tonnes of international freight. By that date, cargo value will triple from today’s $9 trillion to $30 trillion, and highway-bound freight will represent nearly 80 per cent of all cargo value, domestic and international. In the EU-15 road freight transport accounted for 1348 billion tonnes/km in 2002, having grown over 22 per cent from 1991 to 2002. Similarly data on European trade (EU-15) conﬁrm the growth trend so that by 2003 the combined...
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