Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
One of Sweden’s national climate targets is to lower the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector by 40 % between 1990 and 2020. To meet the demand of increasing amount of transports and to fulfill the climate targets, the effects of longer and heavier trucks are being tested and evaluated. High Capacity Transports (HCT) means that the vehicles’ length and/or gross weight are allowed to increase so that each vehicle can transport more freight. The objectives are that HCT should contribute to lower transport costs, lower environmental effects, increased traffic safety, and less road wear with decreased maintenance. There are some concerns regarding HCT though, that it will affect other transport modes negatively. The main concern is that freight will be transferred from railway to truck.
This master thesis examines the potential of HCT on roads and compares the advantages and disadvantages of HCT with railway. A literature review describes the development of trucks in Sweden until today and hypothetical effects of HCT in the road system as well as in the transport system as a whole, focusing on the railway market. Interviews with authority and company representatives have been performed.
The thesis is focused on environmental aspects and transport economy. To enable an evaluation of HCT regarding these aspects and to be able to compare HCT with other transport alternatives, calculation schemes for transport costs and carbon emissions have been created. Comparisons between traditional truck, HCT, direct railway transport, and intermodal transport with truck and rail can be made with the calculation schemes. The calculation schemes have been applied to two case studies. Case study 1, Ett Coil Till, is a pilot project with HCT between Sölvesborg harbor and Olofström, in Blekinge. Trucks of 30 % higher gross weight than traditional trucks are tested on a distance of 34.5 km. Comparisons of three scenarios have been made in this case; truck transport of today, HCT, and transport on railway (hypothetical
alternative). Case study 2 examines the pilot project called Duo
2between Gothenburg and Malmö, a distance of 300 km. The calculation schemes compare traditional truck
transport (tractor + trailer), HCT (tractor + two trailers) and intermodal transport with trailers. The calculation schemes are not exact, but work as a simple analysis tool that
can be used in an early stage of evaluation of HCT.
Results of case study 1:
HCT would lower the total transport cost for road transport with 14 %.
Carbon emissions would decrease with 17 % with HCT.
The number of heavy transports would decrease with 23 %.
Results of case study 2:
HCT would lower the total transport cost for road transport with 37 %.
Carbon emissions would decrease by 28 % with HCT.
The number of heavy transports would decrease with 50 %.
The calculations also show that railway freight transport is far more environmental friendly and often has lower total transport costs than truck transport. However, the railway has difficulties to compete with the truck due to high capital expenditures, low flexibility, and lacking quality (e.g. in terms of time). The results of the
calculations show that HCT may increase the competition between truck and railway through decreased transport costs for HCT. The probability that more customers in the future will choose truck rather than railway will consequently increase, since the cost appear to be the most significant factor for the customers’ choice of transport mode.
From the perspective of the road system: Regarding the results of the calculations and with the concept of co-modality in mind, as well as reports showing that transfer of freight from railway to truck is limited, HCT appears to be an alternative worth developing.
2012. , 86 p.