Spatial patterns of logistics facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden
Journal article, 2020

In recent years, the location of logistics facilities, in particular with regard to “logistics sprawl,” has emerged as a topic in the literature that is, a process of spatial decentralisation of logistics facilities in large metropolitan areas. The aim of this paper is to look at logistics sprawl patterns in the Gothenburg metropolitan area, in the south-west of Sweden. Looking at a medium-size monocentric urban region that is also a major port gateway for the country, this study provides novel elements in the study of locational patterns of freight facilities in metropolitan areas. It also provides an opportunity to identify the role of freight in planning, land use and zoning policies. A literature review is carried out on the issues of freight and logistics facilities locational patterns. A quantitative analysis is proposed, using data from Swedish statistics about the number of establishments with a NACE code related to logistics, as well as an original method providing a “cleaned” and more comprehensive dataset. We look at data at two different scales, one metropolitan and one regional, for years 2000 and 2014, as to enable a comparative and diachronical analysis. Logistics sprawl is measured by the average distance of warehouses to their common centre of gravity. Finally, interviews with transport and logistics providers as well as real estate investors and public agencies in the region, add qualitative information on the relative importance of different location factors related to logistics facilities and the issues raised. Logistics sprawl in Gothenburg occurs in specific ways, and differently at the two geographical levels of analysis.

Logistics facilities

Logistics sprawl



Freight planning

Urban structure


Adeline Heitz

French institute of science and technology for transport, spatial planning, development and networks (IFSTTAR)

Laetitia Dablanc

University of Gothenburg

Jerry Olsson

University of Gothenburg

Ivan Sanchez-Diaz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Johan Woxenius

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Transport Geography

0966-6923 (ISSN)

Vol. 88 October 2020 102191

Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform

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

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

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Transport Systems and Logistics

Economics and Business

Areas of Advance




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