Shippers’ transport effciency: An approach for measuring load factor
Journal article, 2018

One key aspect of effcient transport is load factor: the load carried compared to the maximum load that could be carried in a load unit (e.g. a vehicle). The purpose of this study is to develop an approach that will clarify and describe ways in which shippers can measure load factor. Drawing on existing literature and understanding gained from empirical data the proposed approach uses the load factor model, which structures measurement of load factor overall and at several levels (packaging, shipping, vehicle, fleet) as the ratio of required to available capacity. Shipping level includes utilization of purchased capacity, which is of special interest to shippers. For applying the model in practice, calculation methods linked to availability of data are presented. Calculations of volumetric load factor from two cases illustrate the methods. This paper’s detailed descriptions of how shippers can measure load factor provide calculation structure as well as transparency. Measuring load factor is of interest to evaluate effciency, particularly since load factor is related to transport costs and environmental performance.



Load factor

Transport efficiency


Green logistics


Vendela Santén

SSPA Sweden AB

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Sara Rogerson

SSPA Sweden AB

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Logistics Research

1865-035X (ISSN)

Vol. 11 1 3

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics



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