The last alternative route is R3E highway, which connects Thai and China
through the highland of Loas. The first section also starts from the Asian highway,
Bangkok-Chiang Rai. While the second section is the highway 1152 and 1020 from
Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong. This section is about 110 km long. Chiang Klong, a
border city, has no bridge crossing the Mekong river yet. All cars and trucks have to use
ferry boats for river crossing. The Chiang Khong bridge is expected to start the
construction in the next few years. The ferries reach another side of river at Huay Xay, a
border city of Loas.
The third section starts from Huay Xay, Louangnamtha, to Boten. This section is
228 long. This is the last section that is still under construction. The construction is
divided into three parts responsibilitywise: Thai, Loas (supported by ADB), and China.
According to the plan, the section will be finished in 2007 (see Figure 8). Boten is the
end city of Loas. Another is called Mohan, a China border city. The last section,
between Boten and Kunming is about 736 km. If China finish the upgrade and all
construction along the section, the distance between Boten and Kunming can be
shortened to 688 km.
Figure 8: The construction of R3E.
The Bangkok-R3E-Kunming route is expected to be a major logistics route for
road transportation (Kunming-Bangkok Expressway). During the R3E section, truck
fleet can use this two-lane two-way highway at reasonable speeds, according to the
slope, curve, and road conditions (e.g. 40 to 60 km/h at mountain condition). The design
is expected to meet the international standards enabling container trucks participation in
The foreseen barrier of the route is the delay of the Mekong bridge construction
crossing at Chiang Khong. However, the ferry boat can be temporarily utilized though
causing a system bottleneck.
The characteristics of Kunming-Bangkok route can be summarized as shown in
Table 1. Although the distances of these three routes are not significantly different, each
route has its own peculiarity. Presently, the Mekong river route is the major logistics
route. On the other hand, due to the Myanmar political issues and the transit fee, the
R3W route is rarely used. When the R3E section is completed, this Bangkok- -Kunming
expressway is hypothesized of bringing major changes into this region.
Table 1: Basic Characteristics of Kunming-Bangkok Routes
Remark: Approximated distances after all projects is completed in 2007
Modeling Methodology :
Typically, in analyzing the behavior of mode choice in transportation,
econometric formulation (e.g. logit and probit model) is used. This method has several
advantages, particularly in the detail analysis level. However, it has several drawbacks,
in term of computational and data requirements, that the standard discrete choice
models are immense. This study suggests a schematic model for analysis mode choice
that is based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) concept. Banai-Kashani (1989)
proposed the application of AHP in near-by domain. (i.e. a procedure for the problem of multimodal urban corridor travel demand estimation by using the Analytic Hierarchy
Process). He noted that the AHP approach deals efficiently with multidimensionality,
nested demand structure and discrete travel decision making behavior. Liberatore
(1995) successfully applied this method in the transport carrier and mode selection
This study extends this concept for the logistics flow path problem, which
considers route and mode selection. The model consists of three main parts: system
assessment, AHP, and sensitivity analysis (see Figure 9). A network mode represents a
logistics infrastructure system, including arches and nodes. Arches represent potential
logistics route that normally are lowest transportation cost (e.g. shortest path). Nodes
stand for major cities or economic hubs. The information from the assessment part is
used the AHP for evaluating choices. After that, sensitivity analysis can be applied.
Figure 9: Modeling Framework
This methodology can be extended from deterministic to stochastic level of
analysis by using Mote-Carlo technique. Stochastic modeling can give flexibility in
terms of subjective judgment of inputs.
Logistics Infrastructure Modeling:
To have an insight in the logistics Channel between Bangkok and Kunming, a network
model of the logistic infrastructure system is formulated, as shown in Figure 10.
Bangkok and Kunming are the primary economic hubs of Thailand and Yunnan,
respectively. Chiang Mai is the secondary economic hub that locates between these two
cities. Chiang Rai and Yunjinghong are defined as gateway cities. Each of these has its
own border and port cities, such as Mai Sai, Chiang San, Chiang Khong for Chiang Rai
and Kuanlei for Yunjinghong. These figures imply the confrontation of two economic
zones: Chiang Rai and Yunjinghong economic zones. Figure 11 shows the Kunming-
Bangkok routes (e.g. R3W, Mekong river, R3E) and also the other modes of transports,
such as airway and seaway.
According to the model, the channels from Bangkok to Kunming are simplified
as 1) Airway, 2) Seaway, 3) Continental link via R3W, 4) Continental link via Mekong river, and 5) Continental link via R3E. Approximated details of the channels are set up
as shown in Table 2.