Refocusing the Modelling of Freight Distribution: Development of an Economic-Based Framework to Evaluate Supply Chain Behaviour in Response to Congestion Charging

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, ridership - modelling, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, organisation - management, place - urban


Urban goods movement, Transportation policy, Traffic management (Physical distribution), Traffic congestion, Teamwork, Supply chain management, Stated preferences, Retail trade, Physical distribution, Gridlock (Traffic), Freight transportation, Econometric models, Distribution, Cooperation, Congestion pricing, Collaboration, Choice models


Despite the recent recognition of the contribution of freight transportation to the performance of urban areas under the rubric of city logistics, little research has been done on how the stakeholders in the supply chain might cooperate through participation in distribution networks to reduce freight vehicle movements and the costs associated with traffic congestion. This paper sets out a framework to investigate how agents in a retail supply chain might interact more effectively to reduce the costs of urban freight distribution. This approach proposes: (1) a behaviorally rich framework within a theoretical framework of preferences, choices and constraints; (2) an econometric modeling structure and relevant stated choice data across agents for the economic situation of interest; and (3) a set of key behavioral relationships that have a relatively longer "shelf life" than physical transport data. This framework can be used to complement existing freight models in investigating the behavioral response of each agent to policies, including congestion charging, aimed at improving urban traffic flow.