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Identifying Relevant Variables and Modelling the Choice Process in Freight Transportation


  • John Mangan

    () (Irish Management Institute, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16, Ireland.)

  • Chandra Lalwani

    (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK)

  • Bernard Gardner

    (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK)


There is a substantial literature dealing with both the pertinent factors in freight transport choice, and the various approaches to modelling freight transport choice. Furthermore, that literature is spread across a range of journals from a number of disciplines. The purpose of this paper is to review and summarise that literature with a view to offering: (1) an up to date description of the variables which are currently considered relevant in transport choice decision making; and (2) a critique of the various modelling approaches and suggest what the optimum approach might be. This paper is based on an extensive review of the literature from 1972 to 2000 and concludes that a variety of factors impact upon the decision making context thus necessitating a holistic view to be taken of transport choice. In particular, the increasing trend towards outsourcing (which in turn impacts upon the locus of the choice decision) and the increased adoption of logistics and supply chain management practices impact considerably on transport choice decision making. It is also concluded that a process-oriented model, which takes a holistic view of the freight transport choice process, is likely to give the greatest insight into the choice process. As appropriate, input- and output-oriented techniques can also be employed to augment such a model. Furthermore, it is suggested that particular attention should be given to correctly identifying the actual choice variables: otherwise the output of any choice model will not accurately reflect the actual practice of decision makers.International Journal of Maritime Economics (2001) 3, 278–297. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.ijme.9100017

Suggested Citation

  • John Mangan & Chandra Lalwani & Bernard Gardner, 2001. "Identifying Relevant Variables and Modelling the Choice Process in Freight Transportation," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 3(3), pages 278-297, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:3:y:2001:i:3:p:278-297

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