External Cost Calculator

The real cost of transport goes beyond the immediate internal costs related to logistics operations. There is a wide variety of external costs such as congestion, accidents, noise, air pollution, climate change, loss of space, infrastructure damage and the impact of up and downstream processes. The External Cost Calculator (ECC) translates the external cost of transport to society into monetary terms.

The ECC is based on the most up-to-date methods and metrics. It takes the influencing parameters for each cost category into account and allows for straightforward comparability across a range of projects.

The tool was originally developed to assess the impact of the inland port of Brussels on the sustainability of transport flows to and from Brussels and the impact of bundling freight flows for a specific shipper (Nike). However, the External Cost Calculator has since proven its use in a wide range of other applications including specific case studies, scenario evaluations and cost-benefit analyses in general. It has been further developed through several additional projects and through an Interdisciplinary Research Program.

The result is a framework that enables more nuanced and differentiated external cost calculations based on ready-to-use or self-developed input values using techniques such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems), LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), survey methods and operations research methods such as discrete event simulation. The resulting external cost values can be integrated into existing evaluation tools such as social cost-benefit analyses in order to assess the sustainability of transport options. It is therefore very relevant for policy makers, when the evaluation of alternative policy decisions or general guidance in the decision-making process is required.

Other companies which have benefited from MOBI’s expertise in external costs calculation include Essers, Colruyt, De Lijn, GO!, Waterwegen en Zeekanaal, VIL and AB InBev.

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