The effects of the 2013 floods on Germany’s road freight traffic

Luis Sarmiento and Julio Fournier

Click here to access the full working paper


This article quantifies the consequences of the 2013 floods on heavy vehicle’s traffic in Germany by using automatic traffic counter (ATC) data to locate affected roads and measure the stringency of the damage. The research design treats each counter as an independent time series and endogenously identifies shocks to determine the effects and dates on which the flood-affected each counter. Results show a cumulative negative effect on average weekly freight traffic volumes. Although the largest number of shocks happened along the highway (Bundesstraßen) network with an overall positive effect, motorways (Autobahns) experienced larger shocks with an overall negative effect. The most affected regions were the states of Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt, with Rosenheim (Bavaria) being the district with the largest traffic losses and Rottal-Inn (Bavaria) the one with the largest gains. Understanding the effect of repetitive meteorological events on the road network is relevant for the formulation of policies aiming to improve resilience and recovery.

Submission Status: Submitted toTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment; Under revision

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