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Integration of logistics hubs and their specific volume of traffic in freight transport demand modeling (DFG)


In reality, logistics hubs are integrated in transport and supply chains. Thus, they play an important role in freight transport generation. They bundle transport and serve as virtual elements in creating efficient transport chains. However, knowledge gaps exist about logistics hubs and their generation of transport. In addition, logistics hubs are so far not integrated in freight transport modeling.



The aim of the DFG project “Integration of logistics hubs and their specific volume of traffic in freight transport demand modeling” (reference number of DFG project CL 318/12-1 and LE 1137/4-1), carried out by the Institute of Transport Logistics of the TU Dortmund University and the Institute of Transport Research at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), is the integration of logistics hubs in freight transport modeling and the typological derivation of characteristic values of the logistics hubs. These values shall provide information about specific transport performances and transport volumes of logistics hubs. Significant relationships for the development of freight transport generation of logistics hubs will be identified and analyzed. In this way, the application of a transport demand theory, which includes logistics hubs, should be possible.



Essential steps of the project are the development of a typology of logistics hubs, the identification and location of logistics hubs in Germany, the analysis of secondary statistics followed by an empirical survey, the analysis of literature on logistics hubs in freight transport modeling and the development of key ratios for the traffic generation of different types of logistics hubs.


One of the first steps of the project was the methodological systemization of logistics hubs. Individual criteria were defined, which are suitable for systemizing logistics hubs and their specific transport performances and volumes, using system-building methods. Based on that, characteristics and their possible specifications were assigned to the criteria. As a result, a systemization could be developed which will be used in the next steps of the project. In the generated typological order logistics hubs related aspects as well as transport modes and infrastructure were considered as characteristics. Specific aspects, which describe the companies involved in logistics hubs, were taken into account as well.

Second step was the development and implementation of the primary empirical survey. The content of the survey is based on the typological order of logistics hubs. Within this survey operators of and companies at logistics hubs were asked about the specific business, transport and logistics characteristics of their logistics hubs. Afterwards the collected data was analyzed by statistical methods selected. The purpose of these analyses is to derive a data based typology of logistics hubs and key ratios for the transport generation of logistics hubs for freight transport modeling.

Parallel to the development of the typological order of logistics hubs, existing model approaches in freight transport modeling were reviewed and evaluated. Their suitability and transferability for the integration of logistics hubs in demand modeling were examined. On this basis, a new freight transport demand theory, which could implement logistics hubs as autonomous operating systems in freight transport modeling, should be developed.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft