The Application of Route Network Analysis to Commercial Forestry Transportation - Technical Paper

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Featured Paper By Lissa Stewart

Transportation costs of commercial forestry farms are generally very high, causing great economic concern. In order to optimise transportation, it is beneficial to eradicate such a high density of road, achieved by adopting the most effective methods and technology. Such methods include that of Route Network Analysis (RNA), which designs a minimalist, yet cost-effective road design of a forestry farm. The aim of the study was to determine what data is required to optimise economic and timber transportation, based on the commercial forestry farm of Ntonjaneni, located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The most ideal route from the plantations to the mill was created by manipulating the cadastral shapefile data and digital elevation models, avoiding the environmentally buffered rivers and those slopes which were too steep. As a result, the network was greatly improved. The irrelevant roads were removed and replaced with a less dense route for timber transportation, optimising the economy of the forestry farm.

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