Uncertainties of Domestic Road Freight Statistics: Insights for Regional Material Flow Studies

Abstract : Freight statistics are at the core of many studies in the field of industrial ecology because they depict the physical inter-dependencies of territories and allow to link worldwide productions and consumptions. Recent studies have been increasingly focusing on subnational scales, often relying on domestic freight data. In this perspective, this article analyses the uncertainties of the French domestic road freight survey, road being by far the most common mode of transport in the country. Based on a statistical analysis of the survey, we propose a model to estimate the uncertainty of any given domestic road transport flow. We also assess uncertainty reduction when averaging the flows over several years, and obtain for instance a 30% reduction for a 3-year average. We then study the impact of the uncertainties on regional material flow studies such as the Economy-Wide Material Flow Analysis of the Bourgogne region. Overall the case studies advocate for a systematic assessment of freight uncertainties, as neither the disaggregation level nor the quantities traded are good enough predictors. This justifies the need for an easy-to-implement estimation model. Finally, basic comparison with the German and Swedish surveys tend to indicate that the main conclusions presented in this article are likely to be valid in other European countries.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 3:43:06 PM
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Jean-Yves Courtonne, Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Denis Dupré. Uncertainties of Domestic Road Freight Statistics: Insights for Regional Material Flow Studies. Journal of Industrial Ecology, Wiley, 2018, 22 (5), pp.1189-1201. ⟨10.1111/jiec.12651⟩. ⟨hal-01610261⟩

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