American Society of Civil Engineers

A Transportation Appraisal of Mineral Fuel Trade for Asia

by Manouchehr Vaziri, (Professor, Sharif University of Technology, P.H.D. Transportation Engineering Iran, Tehran, Azadi St, Sharif University of Technology, PO Box: 11365-8639) and Glareh Amirjamshidi, (M.S. Graduate, Sharif University of Technology, M.S.Transportation Engineering, PO Box: 19585/678, E-mail:
Section: Group A: Transportation Policy and Management, pp. 320-333, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Traffic and Transportation Studies
Abstract: International trade is the backbone of our modern, commercial world, as producers in various nations try to profit from an expanded market, rather than be limited to selling within their own borders. There are many reasons that trade across national borders occurs, including lower production costs in one region versus another, specialized industries, lack or surplus of natural resources and consumer tastes. In this paper, international trade distribution is analyzed using the Asian multimodal network. This network consists of 31 countries and for the purpose of this study trade is assumed to be distributed between the capitals of the countries. The study concentrates on the Gravity model of transportation planning, the Linear Programming and the Empirical-Gravity model of Trade. Commodity class 3 according the SITC commodity classification as considered. Two observed matrices are used based on the countries’ export/import trade information. Variables used are: Population, Area, gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Land Locked for each country, also the shortest distance and the minimum cost between capital pairs in three sub-networks defined and finally the direct air distance between capitals. After calibrating the models, these models are analyzed and compared according to the assessment criteria used in this study. The results indicate how well each model explains the trade distribution of this commodity in the study networks. From the results it was concluded that based on the data gathered for export between the countries, gravity model of transportation using distance in the multimodal network as it’s impedance factor, best represented the trade. Based on the import data, however, the best model is the gravity model using the cost in the HS network, a sub-network allowing trade to be distributed according with Sea or the Asian Highway network.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Transportation management