Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


A Comparative Account on the Economic and Environmental Efficiency of the Road and Intermodal Freight Transport Networks

This paper provides a comparative account on the efficiency of the two main freight transport modes {(Truck and intermodal (rail + truck)} in Pakistan. Consistent with the National Transport Policy the objective was to determine and recommend the most efficient modal choice that ensures minimum economic and environmental costs. Using data from multiple government, international (World Bank) and freight operators, we conclude that intermodal transport is a relatively green and efficient mode of transport for the longer distances from the main port city (Karachi) to the North of Pakistan (Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore). Intermodal network offers economies of scale and offers sustainable movement of freight. The paper concludes with several theoretical, managerial and policy oriented implications and identifies several critical areas for future research.



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