A sensitivity analysis of freight transport forecasts for The Netherlands

Michiel de Bok, Bart Wesseling, Jan Kiel, Onno Miete, Jan Francke

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Strategic freight transport models can be used for a quantitative analysis of long term forecasts. This paper discusses an analysis of the bandwidth of freight transport forecasts for The Netherlands with the strategic freight transport model ‘BasGoed’. This model was developed over the past years as a basic model, satisfying the needs of policy making, based on proven knowledge and available transport data. Starting point for the analysis are the long-term scenarios for The Netherlands developed recently by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (WLO scenarios: Future outlook on welfare, prosperity and the human environment). The scenarios describe two base cases: The High and Low scenario. Both scenarios include a consistent set of assumptions on economic development (domestic growth by industry sector and international trade), infrastructure development, fuel prices, and logistic efficiency. The bandwidth of freight forecasts is further explored in five distinctive sensitivity analyses: different development in fuel prices, energy markets, CO2-pricing, dematerialization and modal shift in the port of Rotterdam. The sensitivity analysis provides more insight in the level of importance of each scenario assumption and it can be useful in estimating a bandwidth for freight transport demand. This is valuable in providing insight in the robustness of the freight transport forecasts for policy studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-587
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Transport Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • freight transport demand
  • long term freight forecast
  • scenario analysis
  • sensitivity analysis
  • The Netherlands


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