The movement of freight links producers with their customers at home or overseas and brings goods to factories warehouses shops and households. An efficient freight transport sector can keep costs down and keeps a full range of goods available on shop and supermarket shelves. As such it plays a vital role in supporting economic growth and the quality of life, a role that is particularly important in a country like New Zealand heavily dependent on the export of products competing in world markets.
But the movement of freight brings its own problems as heavy vehicles impact on communities and the environment and consume scarce resources.
Striking a balance between these factors is important but requires and understanding of:-
- The current and likely future movements of freight
- How this supports industry and the consumer
- What would make these more efficient
- How community and environmental effects can be mitigated
Recent studies undertaken by Richard Paling Consulting which have considered these issues include
National Freight Demand Study 2008
Main contractor and project manager for a major study undertaken for MOT, MED and LTNZ of freight activity and freight issues in New Zealand particularly in the light of the Government's sustainability objectives for the sector. The objectives of the study include the investigation of current baseline freight movements by road, rail and coastal shipping by commodity at an inter-regional level, an assessment of the issues facing the freight sector and forecasts of future growth. The work has involved detailed surveys and interviews with over 1000 key players within the freight industry and the identification of the detailed freight patterns and forecast for 17 major commodities, generating 152 million tonnes of freight and 18 billion tonne-kms
A Regional Strategic Freight Network for Auckland, 2008 Development of criteria for the selection of the components and identification of a Regional Strategic Freight Network for Auckland. This will take into all modes and intermodal opportunities ofered by inland ports and coastal shipping links
Update of the Waikato Regional Transport Industry Study, 2008 Review of freight patterns in the Waikato region and surrounding areas taking account of all modes and both through and internal movements. This will provide an update of the baseline position set out in the earlier 2005 WRITS analysis and identify the subsequent pattern of changes.
Seachange Policy Draft : Assistance to Environment Waikato and Auckland Regional Council, 2007
Review of the proposals contained in the policy document and advice to Auckland and Waikato Regional Councils on their appropriate responses to this.
The True Costs of Road and Rail, New Zealand 2007 Preparation of paper for Auckland RLTC investigating comparative costs of transport by road and rail for passengers and freight and for urban and inter-urban movements.
Rosebank Area Local Freight Management Plan, Auckland, New Zealand 2006-08
Review of freight patterns to, from and within a specific local area, the Rosebank Business Area in Auckland City, and identification of measures to improve freight efficiency while taking into account the needs of the local community. The work involved detailed surveys of firms located in the Rosebank area and freight operators and the development of a phased action plan
Auckland Local Freight Network Development Study, Auckland, New Zealand 2006
Identification of an appropriate road hierarchy for the movement of road freight vehicles within Auckland City, aiming to achieve a balance between the needs of road freight vehicles to support the Auckland economy and their impact on the community
Arahura Bridge Replacement SH6 Hokitika 2006
Assessment of the benefits of replacing the existing combined road and rail bridge on SH6 north of Hokitika in the South Island with a more robust structure. The work included a detailed appraisal of road freight movements across the bridge, including discussions with key operators and the local RTA. A particular feature of the work was estimating the costs of the possible closure for the bridge since the alternative routes involved a diversion of over 600 kms. Work on replaced the bridge has subsequently started.
Waikato Regional Industry Transport Study, New Zealand, 2005 Project manager for study of the current and future movements of freight in the Waikato and the issues arising to provide a baseline assessment as part of the inputs to the RLTS. The work involved interviews and surveys of a large number of those involved in the movement and generation of freight in and through the Waikato and a review of the possible economic development of the region.