Model-based corridor performance analysis – An application to a European case
The paper proposes a methodology for freight corridor performance monitoring that is suitable for sustainability assessments. The methodology, initiated by the EU-funded project SuperGreen, involves the periodic monitoring of a standard set of transport chains along the corridor in relation to a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It consists of decomposing the corridor into transport chains, selecting a sample of typical chains, assessing these chains through a set of KPIs, and then aggregating the chain-level KPIs to corridor-level ones using proper weights. A critical feature of this methodology concerns the selection of the sample chains and the calculation of the corresponding weights. After several rounds of development, the proposed methodology suggests a combined approach involving the use of a transport model for sample construction and weight calculation followed by stakeholder refinement and verification. The sample construction part of the methodology was tested on GreCOR, a green corridor project in the North Sea Region, using the Danish National Traffic Model as the principal source of information for both sample construction and KPI estimation. The results show that, to the extent covered by the GreCOR application, the proposed methodology can effectively assess the performance of a freight transport corridor. Combining the model-based approach for the sample construction with the study-based approach for the estimation of chain-level indicators exploits the strengths of each method and avoids their weaknesses. Possible improvements are also suggested by the paper.