Globalized Freight Transport
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Globalized Freight Transport

Intermodality, E-Commerce, Logistics and Sustainability

Edited by Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri

The worldwide movement of freight has emerged as one of the most critical and dynamic aspects of the transport sector. The contributors to this study examine the current state of global freight transport, with an emphasis on Europe and North America and their extra-regional linkages. These original contributions synthesize existing knowledge, highlight new developments, problems and possible solutions, and underscore the need for further research.
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Chapter 1: The Global Economy and Freight Transport Flows

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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