OECD, 2012

Key findings of the 2012 Transport Outlook include: 

Mobility will grow strongly, particularly strong outside the OECD area:  
  • Global passenger transport volumes could be 2 to 2.5 times as large in 2050 as they are now. Outside the OECD, passenger volumes could rise by a factor of 2.5 to 3.5; in the OECD growth could be around 30%. 
  • Global freight transport volumes in 2050 could be 2 to 4 times as large as they are today. Within the OECD, freight volumes could double; outside the OECD they could be more than five times as large. 

CO2-emission will grow less than mobility due to carbon-saving technologies: 

  • CO2-emissions from transport could grow by a factor of 1.5 to 2.5 between 2010 and 2050.
  • In advanced economies, emissions from passenger transport can be stabilised thanks to improved technology. Freight transport emissions will still rise, however, unless freight transport grows only half as fast as GDP.
  • In emerging economies and developing countries, mobility growth is expected to be larger and emissions will grow strongly. This assumes some new technology deployment, with more efficient standard vehicles and hybrids, but not many alternative-fuel vehicles.

Mobility policy can slow down emission growth but a policy commitment is needed:

  • Passenger mobility policies could reduce emission growth outside the OECD by anywhere from a quarter to one-third by 2050.Slowing-down emissions growth requires strong, enduring policy commitment. A range of measures is needed for balanced mobility, including, but not limited to: integrating public transport, to make it more seamless and more appealing to users; limiting network capacity for cars, to achieve more efficient network use; and not providing free parking.

Emission growth means that energy technology is key:

  • In 2011, it was estimated that car fuel economy would need to double, at the very least, to stabilize emissions - from about 8 litres/100 km in 2008 to just under 4 litres/100 km in 2050.
  • Internal-combustion engines can be made much more efficient, and downsizing cars contributes strongly to reducing energy intensity. The immediate adoption of increasingly stringent fuel-economy regulations will promote this transition.
  • In the longer run, policy should be used to stimulate alternative energy sources. Diversity in transport energy is preferred to replacing fossil fuels with another dominant source.  Electric vehicles are a good technological fit where there are short but frequent trips, including taxi markets and delivery of goods in urban environments.

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Andreu Ulied, Oriol Biosca, Efrain Larrea, Nati Franco, 2011

The role of the Trans-European network as an integrated international system is compromised due to poor interconnectivity. Improved interconnections can result in more competitive multi-modal alternatives to uni-modal road transportation and contribute to CO2 emissions reduction. However, the fact is that nowadays 73% of all kilometres completed through long-distance trips in Europe are made by road. One of INTERCONNECT goals was to investigate to what extent reducing interconnectivity costs (between different modes and between local and longdistance networks) may result in an optimised transport system, induce modal shifts towards rail and contribute to decrease CO2 emissions. Conclusions indicate that although these impacts are likely to happen, depending on which specific strategies are adopted to reduce interconnectivity costs, rebound effects may also appear, thereby compromising any potential benefits.

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Eelco den Boer, Huib van Essen, Femke Brouwer, Enrico Pastori (TRT),  Alessandra Moizo (TRT)
CE Delft, March 2011

This study covers both freight and passenger transport and focuses on medium- to long-distance transport. It includes an assessment of existing studies on overall modal shift potential, an assessment and extrapolation of illustrative case studies and an analysis of existing and future infrastructure capacity. 

The assessment of existing studies affirms that rail freight transport has a significant potential. Studies show that the maximum potential share of rail freight transport in the relevant market is in the range of 31-36%, compared with 18% today. This would imply that rail becomes the dominant transport mode for long-distance transport. While other studies have reported more limited effects, these have generally only considered isolated (policy) measures. To assess the extent to which the maximum potential can be indeed instrumented by government policy and supply-side measures would require investigation beyond the scope of the present study, however.

Also in passenger transport, rail may have a significant potential for growth. However, the potential growth of rail passenger transport is less well documented in the literature. One study estimates that in 2030 rail passenger traffic could have more than doubled compared with the baseline scenario for that year. This significant growth is calculated under the assumption that rail transport further improves its competitiveness with private car transport in terms of speed and costs on links where private car transport is currently more competitive. This requires improved rail supply factors and instrumented political support. For this scenario, too, further research is needed to define the required policies and increased services supply by the rail sector for achieving the potential.

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IATA, 2007

Air Transport can play a key role in economic development and in supporting long-term economic growth. It facilitates a country’s integration into the global economy, providing direct benefits for users and wider economic benefits through its positive impact on productivity and economic performance. Global economic growth is a key driver of growth in air traffic demand. However, while air traffic demand has increased as economies have grown, air transportation itself can be a key cause and facilitator of economic growth. Not only is the aviation industry a major industry in its own right, employing large numbers of highly skilled workers, but more importantly it is an essential input into the rapidly growing global economy. Greater connections to the global air transport network can boost the productivity and growth of economies by providing better access to markets, enhancing links within and between businesses and providing greater access to resources and to international capital markets.

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Anna.aero. May 2011

While the US and European air traffic markets are showing some signs of maturity with slowing underlying growth rates, the Asian air travel market is still growing strongly. This week’s anna.aero analysis looks at the biggest domestic markets in the region, their current growth rates, and examines which are the leading international markets in the region. Mainland China’s domestic market has long since passed Japan as the biggest in the region and in 2010, it grew by 15%, having grown by 22% in 2009. In contrast Japan’s domestic market declined in both 2009 and 2010.  Having gradually overcome the various political barriers imposed, airlines from both Mainland China and Taiwan are now able to fly non-stop across the Taiwan Strait, allowing capacity to have grown by 35% in the last year, despite strict controls over which carriers can operate which routes and with what frequency. Given how quickly this market has grown, it is possible that it could become the biggest international market in the region before the end of the decade.

Visit ANNA.AERO site to read the full analysis

Theo Notteboom
Institute of Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp,University of Antwerp, 2010.

The European container port system features a unique blend of different port types and sizes combined with a vast economic hinterland. This paper provides an update of the detailed container traffic analysis developed by Notteboom (1997) by extending it to the period 1985-2008 and to 78 container ports. The paper also aims at identifying key trends and issues underlying recent developments in the European container port system. These trends include the formation of multi-port gateway regions, changes in the hinterland orientation of ports and port regionalization processes. While the local hinterland remains the backbone of ports’ traffic positions, a growing demand for routing flexibility fuels competition for distant hinterlands between multi-port gateway regions. The prevailing assumption that containerisation would lead to further port concentration is not a confirmed fact in Europe: the European port system and most of its multi-port gateway regions witness a gradual cargo deconcentration process. Still, the container handling market remains far more concentrated than other cargo handling segments in the European port system, as there are strong market-related factors supporting a relatively high cargo concentration level in the container sector.

Joyce Dargay, Dermot Gately, Martin Sommer.
Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Dept. of Economics, New York University
International Monetary Fund, January 2007.

The speed of vehicle ownership expansion in emerging market and developing countries has important implications for transport and environmental policies, as well as the global oil market. The literature remains divided on the issue of whether the vehicle ownership rates will ever catch up to the levels common in the advanced economies. This paper contributes to the debate by building a model that explicitly models the vehicle saturation level as a function of observable country characteristics: urbanization and population density. Our model is estimated on the basis of pooled time-series (1960-2002) and crosssection data for 45 countries that include 75 percent of the world’s population. We project that the total vehicle stock will increase from about 800 million in 2002 to over 2 billion units in 2030. By this time, 56% of the world’s vehicles will be owned by non-OECD countries, compared with 24% in 2002. In particular, China’s vehicle stock will increase nearly twenty-fold, to 390 million in 2030. This fast speed of vehicle ownership expansion implies rapid growth in oil demand.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2008

If we want to manage the fundamental drivers of transport demand, we first need to identify what the fundamental drivers are. Next, we can discuss how these driving forces can be managed and whether the benefits of these policy options are larger than the disadvantages. To gain insight into the fundamental drivers of transport demand, long term developments need to be analysed. This paper takes a look into the history of transport over the last two centuries and investigates the future for the coming half a century. This focus on the long term reveals the fundamental drivers, while neglecting all sorts of temporary and minor influences. The paper illustrates what we all know: The history of transport can be described as a continuous reduction in the friction of distance. Travelling or transporting goods, has become faster, cheaper, more comfortable and reliable. This allowed for the impressive mobility growth we have experienced. In addition, it is likely that new improvements in the price-quality ratio of transport will shape the future.

European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC). June 2004.

This initial ERTRAC publication reflects a consensus on the Vision 2020 and a summary of ERTRAC's work as it stands today. The Strategic Research Agenda with detailed definition of future research activities, priorities and road maps will be part of subsequent publications. In the future, road transport will remain an essential component of economic sustainability and social cohesion. Road transport must be seen as part of an integrated system with seamless links and the best possible balance with respect to other transport modes. Growth in a competitive economy and the preservation of quality of life, environment, resources and rational use of space has to comply with the principles of sustainable development and will require efforts in the design, maintenance and operation of the road networks, environmentally friendly vehicles and intermodal solutions.

To see more information...

Download this file (Vision_2020.pdf)Vision_2020.pdf[ ]

Edited by EC 2001

In forming the Group of Personalities, I gave them a deceptively simple task: to produce, in the context of implementing the European Research Area, a vision for aeronautics in the year 2020. This is not a distant deadline but a sensible reflection of the lead times in the research, development and manufacturing of many of the industry's products and services. It seemed to me that only such a unique grouping could identify a formula for transforming the sector from a follower into a global leader over this period.

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. May 2006.

Exponential growth in air traffic, passenger and baggage volumes and the  ensuing increase in airport congestion will pose an inevitable obligation for wholesale transformation in air transport systems throughout Canada and the world. This will entail everything from major airport expansions and better air traffic management to use of smaller “satellite” airports and heightened passenger throughput in every airport, large and small; from expanded management systems and communications networks that enable more decentralized decision-making to the dissolution of traditional “hub and spoke”
air systems in favour of tailor-made, on-demand, more flexible “free routing” and “free flight operations.”

Airbus, 2013.

Airbus’ Global Market Forecast for 2013-2032 "Future Journeys" offers a forward-looking view of the air transport sector’s evolution – taking into account such drivers and factors as population growth, urbanization, emerging markets, innovation and environmental impact.

The new forecast – which serves as a reference for airlines, airports, investors, governments, non-government agencies and others – anticipate that air traffic will grow at 4.7 per cent annually, requiring over 29,220 new passenger aircraft and freighters at a value of nearly US$4.4 trillion.

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Container Traffic Forecast 2007 Update. UN ESCAP

This study is based on the application of the Maritime Policy Planning Models (MPPM) developed and maintained by the Transport and Tourism Division of ESCAP in collaboration with the Korea Maritime Institute. Its objective is to provide a planning context for decisions facing governments, shipping lines and port authorities in the ESCAP region. This is achieved by providing detailed, quantified and internally consistent structure forecasts of the maritime container transport system serving the ESCAP region through to the year 2015.

T.Nottebom, University of Antwerp, OECD International Transport Forum, 2008

The paper approaches port-hinterland dynamics from the perspective of various market players involved, including port authorities, shipping lines, terminal operators, transport operators, logistics server providers.

Download this file (OECD_logistics.pdf)OECD_logistics.pdf[ ]

Steer Davies Gleave. August 2003.

The European Union has decided a sustainable development strategy that includes as an important objective the ‘decoupling’ of transport growth from economic growth. This reflects grave concerns about the problems that would inevitably be associated with ever-increasing

Jean-Paul Rodrigue
Dept. of Global Studies & Geography, Hofstra University ,2010.

The Geography of Transport Systems, formally known as "Transport Geography on the Web", represents a project that has been ongoing for more than 12 years. It was initially funded by Industry Canada (1997-98) "NoteMakers: Development of World Wide Web-Based Post-Secondary Education Courses", but rapidly expanded well beyond its initial scope which was to provide basic multimedia information about transport geography. The site has now become one of the most widely used transportation source on the Internet, averaging between 45,000 and 50,000 unique visitors per month, mostly from private enterprises, government agencies and academic institutions.

The Geography of Transport Systems

J.Ausubel, C.Marchetti

Travel benefits from orientation-fixed points by which to navigate. Our aim is to provide some fixed points derived from a technical analysis of transport systems that enables us to understand past travel and prepare for its future. Along the way, the lunacy of popular ideas such as car pooling, telecommuting, and the revival of traditional railroads will become clear. Instead, we will offer something far more beautiful: a transport system emitting zero pollutants and sparing the surface landscape, while people on average range hundreds of kilometers daily on a system of “green” mobility.

Passenger traffic in general: as car ownership remains among the highest in the world, congestion - still mild by international comparison- is getting worse around the cities; however, due to attempts at a more sustainable mobility, all modes of public transport are growing steadily; the number of air passenger is growing fast again after a previous dip.

Ministère de l'Équipement, du Tourisme et de la Mer. France 2006.

La démarche prospective Transports 2050 a été initiée et conduite par le Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées en vue d’engager un débat sur le devenir à long terme du système des transports. Elle est destinée à favoriser l’émergence d’une culture du long terme, partagée avec les services du ministère des Transports et ses partenaires, et à construire des références communes et des questionnements à soumettre aux décideurs publics.

Boing, 2015

For the aviation industry, 2014 was an outstanding year—key metrics increased across the board, and we will continue to see this trend, with lower oil prices expected to save the industry tens of billions of dollars in 2015 alone.

Passenger traffic as measured by revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was up nearly six percent in 2014, and capacity was up nearly 5.8 percent. The result was record load factors of almost 80 percent worldwide. Airlines continued using their airplanes more efficiently, as demonstrated by utilization rates that were 15 percent higher than those of a decade earlier. 

Because of lower oil prices and various increased efficiencies, airlines had profits of US$20 billion during 2014, which was also a record year for airplane manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Over 1,490 jet airplanes were delivered, and airlines ordered approximately 3,680 new airplanes.