In-transit services and hybrid shipment control: The use of smart goods in transportation networks
Journal article, 2013

This paper describes how the incremental introduction of smart goods and tracking-based information management practices enables hybrid shipment control of less-than-truckload (LTL) transport networks and the provision of in-transit services to transport-buying customers. A design theory is developed using interface modeling and discrete event simulation methodology. Interface modeling shows the types of in-transit services that are possible to introduce using smart goods. An empirically grounded simulation demonstrates how transporters can achieve incremental efficiency improvements through hybrid shipment control as customers adopt in-transit services. The results show how in-transit services offered to customers constitutes a platform on which transporters can implement hybrid shipment control, which can substantially reduce resource requirements and the carbon footprint of LTL transportation networks. The design theory articulates a strategy for simultaneously improving customer service and operating efficiency through the introduction of smart goods. The originality and value of the paper is the demonstration of how smart goods can simultaneously benefit transport-buying customers and transporters, thus showing how to overcome the bootstrapping problem of digital infrastructure creation and enabling the vision of a Physical Internet in transportation.


interface modeling



Research methods (design theory



Per-Olof Arnäs

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Jan Holmström

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Joakim Kalantari

SSPA Sweden AB

Transportation Research, Part C: Emerging Technologies

0968-090X (ISSN)

Vol. 36 231-244

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics



More information

Latest update