The Cost Structure of Intermodal Transportation: The Chilean Case

This study defines a methodology to compute unitary costs for freight transportation modes. The main objective was to gather relevant costs data to support the formulation and evaluation of railway, road, pipelines and port projects. This article will concentrate on the following steps: Compilation and analysis of relevant modal cost studies, Methodological adjustments to make cost figures comparable between studies, Definition of typology and scope of transportation modes, Analysis and validation of cost values for relevant freight transportation modes in Chile. In order to define the comparison methodology for the costs between the different transportation modes, it was necessary to consider that the relevant cost depends on who performs the comparison. Thus, for the transportation user (e.g. exporter) the pertinent costs are the mode tariffs, whereas from the operators perspective (e.g. rail manager), the pertinent costs are the operating costs of each mode.