Title: Developments and prospects of freight railway transport in Northern Germany: a Delphi survey

Authors: Gabriela Zitz; Aristides Matopoulos

Addresses: CITY College, Business Administration and Economics Department, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, 3 LeontosSofou, 546 26, Thessaloniki, Greece ' Engineering Systems and Management, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Abstract: Despite the fact that Germany has a well expanded traffic infrastructure, it confronts a strong growth in freight volumes and it is very likely that in the forthcoming years will not be able to reasonably cope with the increasing demand. The aim of this paper is to explore the developments of the transport sector, railways in particular, in North Germany. More specific, the paper explores whether the railway network could contribute to improved traffic development in North Germany and also whether or not the existing logistics practices are effective enough to cope with the traffic problems in the region. The research based on the Delphi technique, collected, analysed and summarised the opinions of a group of experts in the aforementioned issues. Results indicate that railways could represent the solution to the forecasted growing freight volumes in the next years. In spite of continuous efforts undertaken by the politics and the economy, the existing logistics and freight traffic concepts are not sufficient, financing is too scarce, while emerging issues like sustainability, environment protection and working conditions are taken into little consideration.

Keywords: logistics; freight transport; rail transport; rail freight; sustainability; Delphi method; Germany; transport industry; sustainable development; railways; environmental protection; working conditions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2014.063982

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2014 Vol.18 No.4, pp.500 - 516

Published online: 28 Jul 2014 *

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