Mode choice in the logistics sector - Which determinants influence the selection of freight transport modes?

ModEL is a project funded by the FFG, the Austrian Research Funding Agency. The consortium consists of the Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (AIT), Herry Consult GmbH and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (Logistikum Steyr). ModEL aims to research the influence of certain behaviour patterns on mode choices in the logistics sector. A profound understanding of modal decisions is important for two reasons:

  • To promote a modal shift in favour of sustainable transport modes, background knowledge is required on how, why, and which decisions are made when choosing a mode of transport. This enables new logistics concepts to better map the necessary decision bases and achieve a higher level of acceptance.
  • To propagate sustainable modes (and means) of transport, a deep understanding is required of why certain modes and transport models are not or only reluctantly chosen. A survey of behaviour patterns specific to specific groups of people is necessary to be able to develop tailor-made measures for (from a transport policy view) positively influencing modal decisions, which ultimately help to achieve climate objectives.

During the first phase of ModEL a literature review was conducted to define the status quo of research regarding determinants influencing the mode choice. The results of this literature review are presented in this article.

The literature review was conducted using keywords such as ‘mode choice’, ‘freight transport’, ‘age’, ‘gender’ and ‘factor’. The databases Scopus and Emerald Insight were used. The review started in spring 2020 and it ended in autumn 2020. The literature review also involved a forward and backward research to reduce the risk of missing any relevant publications. In total, 94 relevant sources were identified. The following figure sums up the most important determinants which were identified in the literature review. The given references are exemplary, in most cases numerous sources have at least mentioned the factor.

Image: Determinants influencing mode choice (Source: own representation)

 

1

Abate et al. 2019

16

Piendl et al. 2017

2

Keya et al. 2019

17

Olkhova et al. 2018

3

Jensen et al. 2019

18

Zgonc et al. 2019

4

Eng‐Larsson und Kohn 2012

19

Harrod 2019

5

Stank und Goldsby 2000

20

Bergantino et al. 2013

6

Nugroho et al. 2016

21

Zhao 2018

7

Neal und Koo 2020

22

Wu et al. 2020

8

Ke et al. 2015

23

Reis 2014

9

Hwang und Ouyang 2014

24

Li und Hensher 2012

10

Arunotayanun und Polak 2011

25

Khakdaman et al. 2020

11

Šimeček und Dufek 2016

26

Samimi et al. 2011

12

Behrends 2015

27

Luo und Chen 2012

13

Avetisyan 2018

28

La Vega et al. 2018

14

Mommens et al. 2020

29

Derakhshan, A., Shah, M. Z. 2013

15

Elbert und Seikowsky 2017

30

Holguín-Veras et al. 2011

A variety of factors was found in the existing literature, some occurred very often, e.g. cost/ price, others occurred rather infrequently, like energy. An interesting finding is that even though the literature on factors influencing mode choices is quite comprehensive, literature on the influence of personal characteristics of the decision-maker (e.g. age, gender, education) is absolutely limited.

The determinants are grouped in 12 categories: physical characteristics of location, physical attributes/ characteristics of cargo / shipment characteristics, cost / price, flow and spatial distribution of shipment, modal characteristics, service quality, distributor features, time and urgency, personal experiences/ issues resp. decision-maker (characteristics), organization / company, shipper characteristics, environment / sustainability and other.

 

Highlights:

  • Short introduction of the project ModEL
  • Literature on the influence of personal characteristics of the decision-maker is absolutely rare
  • Numerous determinants influencing the selection of freight transport modes are illustrated
  • The results of an extensive literature review (94 relevant references) are presented
  • The significance of understanding freight mode choice is underlined

 

Back >>

 

References:

Abate, Megersa; Vierth, Inge; Karlsson, Rune; Jong, Gerard de; Baak, Jaap (2019): A disaggregate stochastic freight transport model for Sweden. In: Transportation 46 (3), S. 671–696. DOI: 10.1007/s11116-018-9856-9.

Arunotayanun, Kriangkrai; Polak, John W. (2011): Taste heterogeneity and market segmentation in freight shippers’ mode choice behaviour. In: Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 47 (2), S. 138–148. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2010.09.003.

Avetisyan, Misak (2018): Impacts of global carbon pricing on international trade, modal choice and emissions from international transport. In: Energy Economics 76, S. 532–548. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2018.10.020.

Behrends, Sönke (2015): The modal shift potential of intermodal line-trains from a haulier's perspective: drivers and barriers in the mode choice process. In: WRITR 5 (4), S. 369. DOI: 10.1504/WRITR.2015.076925.

Elbert, Ralf; Seikowsky, Lowis (2017): The influences of behavioral biases, barriers and facilitators on the willingness of forwarders’ decision makers to modal shift from unimodal road freight transport to intermodal road–rail freight transport. In: J Bus Econ 87 (8), S. 1083–1123. DOI: 10.1007/s11573-017-0847-7.

Eng‐Larsson, Fredrik; Kohn, Christofer (2012): Modal shift for greener logistics – the shipper's perspective. In: Int Jnl Phys Dist & Log Manage 42 (1), S. 36–59. DOI: 10.1108/09600031211202463.

Hwang, Taesung; Ouyang, Yanfeng (2014): Freight shipment modal split and its environmental impacts: an exploratory study. In: Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995) 64 (1), S. 2–12. DOI: 10.1080/10962247.2013.831799.

Jensen, Anders Fjendbo; Thorhauge, Mikkel; Jong, Gerard de; Rich, Jeppe; Dekker, Thijs; Johnson, Daniel et al. (2019): A disaggregate freight transport chain choice model for Europe. In: Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 121, S. 43–62. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2018.10.004.

Ke, Jian-yu Fisher; Windle, Robert J.; Han, Chaodong; Britto, Rodrigo (2015): Aligning supply chain transportation strategy with industry characteristics. Evidence from the US-Asia supply chain. In: Int Jnl Phys Dist & Log Manage 45 (9/10), S. 837–860. DOI: 10.1108/IJPDLM-06-2014-0130.

Keya, Nowreen; Anowar, Sabreena; Eluru, Naveen (2019): Joint model of freight mode choice and shipment size: A copula-based random regret minimization framework. In: Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 125, S. 97–115. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2019.03.007.

Mommens, Koen; van Lier, Tom; Macharis, Cathy (2020): Multimodal choice possibilities for different cargo types: Application to Belgium. In: Research in Transportation Business & Management, S. 100528. DOI: 10.1016/j.rtbm.2020.100528.

Neal, Craig; Koo, Tay T.R. (2020): Demand for cargo airships: An analysis of mode choice decision making in the freight transport industry. In: Journal of Air Transport Management 83, S. 101741. DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2019.101741.

Nugroho, Munajat Tri; Whiteing, Anthony; Jong, Gerard de (2016): Port and inland mode choice from the exporters' and forwarders' perspectives: Case study — Java, Indonesia. In: Research in Transportation Business & Management 19, S. 73–82. DOI: 10.1016/j.rtbm.2016.03.010.

Šimeček, Michal; Dufek, Jiří (2016): A Freight Modal Shift Model for Slovakia. In: Transportation Research Procedia 14, S. 2814–2819. DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.05.347.

Stank, Theodore P.; Goldsby, Thomas J. (2000): A framework for transportation decision making in an integrated supply chain. In: Supp Chain Mnagmnt 5 (2), S. 71–78. DOI: 10.1108/13598540010319984.