Rgs ibg 2011 conference woodburn

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Rgs ibg 2011 conference woodburn

  1. 1. Is the British rail freight market becoming more diversified?<br />Dr Allan Woodburn<br />Transport Studies Department<br />University of Westminster, London<br />
  2. 2. Study aim<br />To investigate whether the rail freight market in Britain has been diversifying away from the traditional bulk commodity flows<br />
  3. 3. Relevance of study<br />Long-term decline in rail freight market share from 1950s to 1990s<br />Shift from wagonload to trainload operation<br />Simultaneous concentration on bulk commodities (e.g. coal, aggregates, steel)<br />Led to limited role for and narrow focus of rail freight market – not much activity “downstream” in the supply chain<br />General desire for rail to play greater role – sustainability reasons<br />
  4. 4. A (very) simplified supply chain<br />Declining importance in UK<br />Increasing importance in UK<br />Significant rail use<br />Limited rail use<br />
  5. 5. Wagonload rail freight – mix of goods<br />
  6. 6. Trainload rail freight - aggregates<br />
  7. 7. Composition of British rail freight market (1998-99 – 2010-11; freight moved)<br />Source: ORR (2011)<br />
  8. 8. Key trends in rail freight volumes<br />Bulk commodities share increased from 59% in 1998-99 to 63% in 2010-11, but mixed pattern:<br />Large increase in ‘coal’ from 1998-99 to 2006-07, with general decline since<br />Decline in ‘international’, particularly from 2000-01 to 2001-02, with fairly minor fluctuations thereafter<br />Year-on-year increase in ‘domestic intermodal’ since 2001-02, rising from 18 per cent of the market to 30 per cent<br />Considerable decline in ‘other’ since 2003-04<br />
  9. 9. Bulk share increased - no diversification?<br />So, little structural change in the rail freight market since the 1990s?<br />Some hints of change, particularly with growth in intermodal:<br />Container traffic to/from deep-sea ports<br />Containers and swapbodies through Channel Tunnel<br />Containers and swapbodies on Anglo-Scottish corridor<br />Limited evidence of diversification other than intermodal<br />
  10. 10. Intermodal examples<br />
  11. 11. Current rail freight use in the supply chain<br />Declining importance in UK<br />Increasing importance in UK<br />Limited use<br />Traditional rail freight<br />Significant use<br />Intermodal rail freight<br />Limited use<br />Significant use<br />
  12. 12. Conclusions<br />Key bulk sectors still dominate rail freight market<br />Other flows in traditional wagons have been in (irreversible?) decline<br />Intermodal volumes have grown by 60% since 1998-99<br />While not hugely significant in volume terms, evidence of some diversification<br />

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