One of the most important greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation opportunities identified for the freight transport sector is a mode shift from road to rail. A system dynamics model was constructed to evaluate the drivers and barriers to such a mode shift and the impact on the wider economy. This paper focuses on the decision-making process that determines the movement of corridor freight, using processed food on the Cape Town-Gauteng corridor as a case study. In order that the model was an accurate representation which would facilitate discussion amongst decision makers, stakeholders were consulted as to the most important considerations in transporting processed food, their current perception of rail and the barriers to shifting to rail. Stakeholders included not only the decision makers, which included manufacturers of processed food and major retailers, but also Transnet, logistics companies, bodies lobbying government for a switch from road to rail and other experts. The paper presents the insights gained from stakeholder engagement and describes how it informed the construction of the decision-making routines in the system dynamics model. The relative importance of different decision making criteria and the tipping points in the system have begun to be identified, together with the implications of this for achieving a road to rail shift.
Paper presented at the 34th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6-9 July 2015 "Working Together to Deliver - Sakha Sonke", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.