The potential role of urban waterways in sustainable urban freight transport - A case study of mass transport from the construction of Västlänken

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Supply chain management (MPSCM), MSc
Carlén, Vanja
Josefsson, Andreas
Olsson, Lina
Urban freight transport (UFT) is becoming increasingly important; a well working transport system is a precondition for economic growth of cities and as more people and business move to urban areas the amount of goods transported to, from and within cities increases. However, it also results in emissions, congestion and safety issues. The city of Gothenburg is in need of an updated infrastructure to meet the increased transport need and as part of this update, the planning of a railway tunnel, Västlänken, under central Gothenburg is taking place. The construction work is planned to start in 2018 and is estimated to run for ten years. The new railway system will include three new stations under the city centre and simplify commuting to and from the city. One of the main issues during the construction time is the removal of a large amount of mass from the sites and thus increased levels of UFT within the already constrained infrastructure. This thesis was initiated to find transport solutions for this mass and started as a part of the sustainable UFT project Sendsmart that aims for finding both technical and soft solutions for sustainable UFT. When looking at possible transport solutions for the mass, the waterways in Gothenburg are of particular interest, as they are not fully utilized and would decrease the congestion on the roads. This leads to the purpose of this thesis that was to evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of using urban waterways for mass transport in urban areas during the construction of Västlänken in Gothenburg. In order to fulfil the purpose, two research questions were assessed. First, it was examined if the usage of urban waterways is feasible when transporting mass during the construction of Västlänken. Second, it was examined if the usage of urban waterways is a sustainable alternative to road transport. The feasibility study was conducted through theoretical studies, benchmark of six similar cases to the one in Gothenburg and studies of the context specific conditions in Gothenburg. In addition, three barge suppliers, two construction machine manufacturers and one construction truck manufacturer were interviewed to gain a technical understanding and knowledge of the available vehicles and vessels on the Swedish market. It was concluded that both barge and truck are feasible modes of transport in this context. Both modes of transport however need different transhipment methods, and the belt conveyor investigated for the vessel alternative showed not to be suitable for clay or for shafts located close to streets and instead a truck is recommended for these transhipments. The sustainability study was divided into an environmental study, a cost study and a social impact study. In the environmental and cost study, it was concluded that a larger carrier results in less environmental impact and costs for both trucks and vessels. The largest vessel investigated was however outstanding and would also be better from a congestion point of view. From a social perspective, vessel also showed to be the best solution, as it is safe and results in less noise and visual intrusion impact on the city. This is also in accordance with the stakeholder analysis performed. In conclusion, the large vessel investigated outclasses all other transport solutions both regarding feasibility and sustainability. When taking on a system view perspective, it is shown that two large vessels with mixed types of mass is the most efficient combination for the total flow of mass from the three shafts investigated. The infrastructure of Gothenburg allows for efficient barge transport flows and the short distances gained when using the seaways result in sustainable transport solutions. A well working transport system is a precondition for economic growth of cities and the urbanisation of Gothenburg requires mitigation actions in order to handle congestion. Barge transport is an efficient way of making the transport system in Gothenburg more sustainable and would also facilitate the need of more frequent and efficient deliveries in the city centre.
Transport , Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi , Transport , Other industrial engineering and economics
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