A Review of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Freight Projects

Sae Chi, Tom Frost, Ben Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Cost-Benefit Analysis is most often used to evaluate the net impact of a project to the community. The project can be evaluated from the public perspective in an empirical manner using Cost-Benefit Analysis. Measuring net impacts of a freight project can be a complex task, as it can impact the whole freight network including numerous modes of transport. However, the literature review highlighted that there are a number of inconsistencies and disagreements between academic studies of freight project evaluations. This paper reviews the Cost-Benefit Analyses of a number of land freight projects, in order to investigate how freight projects are evaluated in practice. It has a particular focus on the types of benefits that have been quantified in the analysis and the data that has been used to quantify those benefits. The review found that there are significant inconsistencies between case studies with regard to the types of benefits that have been captured in the analysis. It also found that the treatment of some impacts, particularly those impacts to freight companies, need further investigation. Moreover, the availability of rail freight data compared to road freight data is significantly lacking. For the purpose of conducting Cost-Benefit Analysis of freight projects consistently between freight projects, a standardised methodology and clear guidance need to be established and provided. Additionally, this review can serve as a useful reference list for practitioners for the purpose of conducting Cost-Benefit Analysis of freight projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2017 Proceedings
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherThe Australasian Transport Research Forum
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2017 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Nov 201729 Nov 2017


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2017
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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