Indian crude oil imports over the period 2000-2016 have shown a strong growth rate of almost 7 percent year-on-year. Crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia over the same period have surged, growing at more than 14 percent annualized. The Indian transport sector is the key consumer of oil and freight is a crucial component of the sector. Any changes to Indian freight energy demand will have significant repercussions on global oil markets and potentially impact Saudi Arabian oil exports. India is trying to enable a mode shift to rail through infrastructure investments such as dedicated freight corridors. Research questions include:
1) What are the economic and geographic determinants of freight movement by mode?
2) How will India’s transport infrastructure development plans impact freight transportation demand on a national and regional level? What are the key determinants for driving the mode shift to rail?