Modeling Urban Freight Generation: A Study of Commercial Establishments’ Freight Needs
Journal article, 2017

Increasing urbanization, and the environmental and liveability impacts associated with urban activity, have directed attention to the need for sustainable cities. Achieving sustainable urban development requires including freight systems in strategic urban development plans. In this context, joint efforts involving academia and public- and private sector to collect the right data and develop suitable models, can contribute toward a better understanding of establishments’ freight needs, the quantification of freight’s traffic impacts and the development of appropriate methods to support decision making and strategic plans. This paper studies urban commercial establishments’ freight needs and impacts on traffic using data collected from establishments in the City of Gothenburg (Sweden). The data cover different zones of the city and include commercial sectors found typically in urban cores (e.g., retailers, food services, health care, public sector offices and education). The paper introduces a set of statistical models—developed based on regression analyses and discrete choice models—to estimate the number of freight trips produced and attracted per week, and the attraction of weight and volumes of freight. In addition to shed light on the factors determining establishments’ freight- and freight trips generation, the models are designed with the purpose of assisting planning and policy design efforts, thus the explanatory variables are selected based on suitability and availability. The results show that retailers of perishable goods have the highest freight trip generation per establishment, followed by public sector offices and education establishments, retailers of non-perishable goods and restaurants. The results also reveal a heterogeneity between sectors, and a differential business size effect across commercial sectors.

Urban Freight

Freight Attraction

Freight Demand Modeling

Receivers’ behavior

Freight Trip Generation

Freight Generation


Ivan Sanchez-Diaz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice

0965-8564 (ISSN)

Vol. 102 3-17

Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform

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

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

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics



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