Intermodal Versus Unimodal Road Freight Transport - A Review of Comparisons of the External Costs
Book chapter, 2006

Intermodal transport, the combination and integration of several modes, with the use of loading units, has been said to be more environmentally friendly than unimodal road transport for the carriage of goods. The political and scientific interest in this transport system is largely due to this sustainability and ecological aspect of the intermodal transportation system. In this paper an overview is given of studies and papers that are tackling the issue of the external effects of both intermodal and unimodal transport. An overview is given of the types of external costs that were taken into account (emissions, security, noise etc.) and the methodologies that were used to estimate the external effects and to value these effects in terms of costs. The results of the different studies are compared to each other and conclusions are drawn.

environmental performance

external costs


intermodal freight transport


Ekki Kreutzberger

Cathy Macharis

Johan Woxenius

Chalmers, Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV)

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Jourquin, B., Rietveld, P., Westin, K. (Eds.) Transportation Economics - Towards Better Performance Systems


Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics



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