Humphreys, Richard Martin

Transport Global Practice
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Transport economics
Transport Global Practice
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Richard Martin Humphreys is a Lead Transport Economist in the South Asia Unit of the Transport Global Practice of the World Bank. He has been working in the transport sector for nearly 30 years in a number of different countries/regions, including inter alia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Russia, South Asia, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Baltic States, and the Western Balkan countries, and Eastern and Southern Africa. His experience covers roads, railways, inland waterways and maritime ports, public private partnerships, and trade and transport facilitation, in post-conflict, fragile, and low- and middle-income countries. Richard has a first degree in Economics, and a Master’s Degree and PhD in Transport Economics.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Thumbnail Image
    Modal Choice between Rail and Road Transportation: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia
    Rail transport generally has the advantage for large-volume long-haul freight operations. The literature generally shows that shipping distance, costs, and reliability are among the most important determinants of people's modal choice among road, rail, air, and coastal shipping transport. However, there is little evidence in Africa, although the region historically possesses significant rail assets. Currently, Africa's rail transport faces intense competition against truck transportation. With firm-level data, this paper examines shippers' modal choice in Tanzania. The traditional multinomial logit and McFadden’s choice models were estimated. The paper shows that rail prices and shipping distance and volume are important determinants of firms' mode choice. The analysis also finds that the firms' modal choice depends on the type of transactions. Rail transport is more often used for international trading purposes. Exporters and importers are key customers for restoring rail freight operations. Rail operating speed does not seem to have an unambiguous effect on firms' modal selection.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Rail Transport and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) Iimi, Atsushi ; Humphreys, Richard Martin ; Mchomvu, Yonas Eliesikia
    Railway transport generally has the advantage for large-volume, long-haul freight operations. Africa possesses significant railway assets. However, many rail lines are currently not operational because of the lack of maintenance. The paper recasts light on the impact of rail transportation on firm productivity, using micro data collected in Tanzania. To avoid the endogeneity problem, the instrumental variable technique is used to estimate the impact of rail transport. The paper shows that the overall impact of rail use on firm costs is significant despite that the rail unit rates are set lower when the shipping distance is longer. Rail transport is a cost-effective option for firms. However, the study finds that firms' inventory is costly. This is a disadvantage of using rail transport. Rail operations are unreliable, adding more inventory costs to firms. The implied elasticity of demand for transport services is estimated at -1.01 to -0.52, relatively high in absolute terms. This indicates the rail users' sensitivity to prices as well as severity of modal competition against truck transportation. The study also finds that firm location matters to the decision to use rail services. Proximity to rail infrastructure is important for firms to take advantage of rail benefits.