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Positive impact of distribution centres on the environment

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The transport sector in general, and trucks in particular, generates a significant amount of emissions in Australia. It appears the trend will escalate unless different measures are taken to reduce the reliance of freight transport on trucks. This paper discusses the benefits of distribution centres as a means to reduce road congestion, increase safety, protect the environment by reducing atmospheric pollution and improve freight distribution. It also provides the effective use of the existing rail network and its infrastructure and improves the lead-time as well as lowering the cost of transportation of cargo. It also investigates the positive impact of distribution centres located near to manufacturing and farming production units. A simulation model has been developed and used to help determine the amount of atmospheric pollution produced by two modes of land transport, rail and road, for the movement of containers between port and destination. Results derived from the model provide evidence about a preferred land-transport regime. The paper has two sections: (1) the role of distribution centres in the chain of transport and (2) the impact of distribution centres on the environment. The first section investigates the feasibility of the implementation of distribution centres in the State of Victoria with respect to rail line capacity and location allocation. The second section presents an additional simulation model that investigates the role of a distribution centre in relation to the amount of atmospheric pollution produced by rail and road, while containers are carried between port and destination.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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