oa Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management - Extending freight flow modelling to sub-Saharan Africa to inform infrastructure investments - trade data issues
This paper highlights the first attempt by researchers at Stellenbosch University to model freight flows between and for 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The model will be informed by and linked to the South African surface Freight Demand Model (FDM) given these dimensions. By analysing and collating available datasets and developing a freight flow model, a better understanding of freight movements between countries can be obtained and then used for long-term planning efforts. A simple methodology is envisaged that will entail a high-level corridor classification that links a major district in the country with a similar district in another country. Existing trade data will be used to corroborate new base-year economic demand and supply volumetric data that will be generated from social accounting matrices for each country. The trade data will also provide initial flow dynamics between countries that will be refined according to the new volumes. The model can then generate commodity-level corridor flows between SSA countries, and between SSA countries and the rest of the world, as well as intra-country rural and metropolitan flows, using a gravity-based modelling approach. This article outlines efforts to harmonise trade data between the 17 countries identified, as well as between these countries and the rest of the world as a first step towards developing a freight demand model for sub-Saharan Africa.
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