An exploratory analysis of spatial effects on freight trip attraction
Journal article, 2016

This paper conducts an exploratory analysis of freight trip attraction and its relationship with key features of the urban environment. Using establishment level data, the authors explore the role of business attributes, as well as network and land use descriptors. The research uses data from 343 establishments from five different industry sectors in New York City. These establishments are geo-located, and spatial association indicators are estimated to assess the presence of spatial effects. Spatial econometric techniques are used to assess the role of spatial effects among establishments and the urban environment. The empirical evidence suggests that establishments’ location, such as land-value and front street width, play an important role on freight trip attraction (FTA), and that retail industries located in high employment zones tend to produce higher FTA per employee. Another key finding is that FTA is better modeled using non-linear models for all industry sectors. Specifically, the freight trip attraction of business establishments is concave with employment, flattening as employment increases. This is confirmed by the modeling results for which the range of coefficients estimated for employment reveals that, although larger establishments have higher FTA than small establishments, FTA increases at a diminishing marginal rate. These exploratory findings shed light on the use of locational variables, and nonlinear spatial effects specifications to enhance FTA models.


Urban transportation systems

Trip generation

Spatial autocorrelation


Land use


Ivan Sanchez-Diaz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

J. Holguín-Veras

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

X. Wang

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


0049-4488 (ISSN) 1572-9435 (eISSN)

Vol. 43 1 170-196

Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform

VREF, 2022-06-01 -- 2024-12-31.

VREF, 2014-02-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics



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