IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are there economies of traffic density in the Less-Than-Truckload motor carrier industry? An operations planning analysis


  • Keaton, Mark H.


An operations planning model of less-than-truckload (LTL) motor carrier operations is developed. The model determines the number of terminals, and the routing of trucks between terminals, to minimize pickup and delivery, platform handling, and linehaul costs subject to service level constraints. Heuristic techniques are used, so the solution is only approximate. Analysis of a number of hypothetical LTL networks shows that there are substantial economies of traffic density. As traffic volume increases over a region of fixed size, average cost falls sharply, especially at the lower density levels. This finding is consistent with the behavior of the carriers which have expanded since de facto deregulation in 1980, and helps to explain why a few large carriers are coming to dominate the LTL market.

Suggested Citation

  • Keaton, Mark H., 1993. "Are there economies of traffic density in the Less-Than-Truckload motor carrier industry? An operations planning analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 343-358, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:27:y:1993:i:5:p:343-358

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:27:y:1993:i:5:p:343-358. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.