Location of logistics companies: A stated preference study to disentangle the impact of accessibility
Due to the globalization and the fragmentation of industrial production processes, the logistics sector, which organizes the linkages between different production plants and the market, is growing fast. This results in an increasing demand for suitable new business locations. Previous research has indicated that accessibility is a key factor in the location decision making process. Though the literature on this subject is extensive, little research has been done to quantify the impact of the different dimensions of accessibility on the location decision process of logistics companies. This paper aims to fill this void in the literature by means of a revealed preference study (using a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis) and a stated preference study (using a designed discrete choice experiment) in Flanders (Belgium). The results of the revealed preference study served as input to the design of the choice situations in the stated preference study. In this study, the respondents were confronted with a series of choice situations described by means of accessibility variables as well as land rent information. An analysis of the resulting data revealed that land rent is the most important factor in the location choice of logistics companies in Flanders. Access to a port is the one but most important factor, followed by access to a motorway and an inland navigation terminal, and the location in a business park. Finally access to a rail terminal plays no significant role in the location choice of logistics companies in Flanders.
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