Davies Transportation Consulting Inc. recently completed a Freight Marketing Study for Saudi Railway Organization to identify opportunities to increase freight traffic on the Dammam-Riyadh rail line and inland Dry Port in Riyadh. The project was undertaken in collaboration with Effect Advisory, a consulting firm based in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The DTCI project team included Darryl Anderson of Wave Point Consulting, Norm Hooper of Hooper Engineering, and Steve Hayto of S5 Services.
Project objectives included:
- Identification of opportunities for increased freight traffic on the Dammam-Riyadh rail line, and the evolving rail network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
- Identification of the operational and infrastructure changes that will be required to attract and accommodate the additional traffic; and
- Estimates of investment costs.
The project team undertook extensive consultations to gather information on cargo flows, current logistics practices, and transportation issues. Almost 80 organizations were contacted, including shippers, logistics and trucking companies, warehouse operators, port terminals, and government ministries and agencies.
Data was gathered from multiple sources to identify specific freight flows in the Dammam – Riyadh Corridor, including Ministry of Transport traffic counts, statistics and truck volume estimates from previous studies, publicly available statistics on port traffic and trade volumes in KSA, and interviews with shippers and service providers. Team members also observed truck traffic patterns on the Dammam-Riyadh highway and spoke with truck drivers at rest stops and weigh stations.
Operational and infrastructure changes required to accommodate additional freight traffic were assessed based on previous studies, interviews with current SRO customers, technical data and information from meetings with SRO officials, and track inspections and observation of rail operations by Engineer Norm Hooper.
The consulting team recommended six high priority projects over the next 1 to 5 years, ranked according to criteria including the potential for increasing SRO’s freight revenue, promoting industrial development and job creation, and reducing traffic congestion and road safety.