Current Projects

Integration of logistics hubs and their specific volume of traffic in freight transport demand modelling

Logistics hubs play an important role in transport processes between sender and recipients. Specific characteristics of logistics hubs cause differences in transport volumes. These transport differences cannot actually be taken up by the transport demand theory, as neither a general nor a node typological classification exists.


The core objective of this project is the integrated view of logistics hubs (e.g. regional warehouses, terminals for combined transport, freight stations) and the typological derivation of parameters of the logistics hubs. These values shall provide information about specific transport services and transport volumes of the logistics hubs. The target is to systematically identify and analyse the relationships which are significant for the development of freight traffic generation. In this way, the application of a transport demand theory which includes explicit logistics hubs shall be made possible. Based on extensive theoretically fundamental work, a typological order of logistics hubs is derived. On this basis a transport demand theory is developed, which is integrating logistics hubs with their specific volumes of traffic as active, demand driving systems. The research project will make a crucial contribution to explore and to structure fundamental correlations between logistics hubs and freight transport and to make this usable for models. By combining logistics knowledge and competences in the field of transport demand theory and modelling, the project provides data bases, typologies of logistics hubs and approaches of the demand theory in an innovative way.


The core objective is the integration of logistics hubs and the typological derivation of parameters for the development and first-time adoption of a transport demand theory, explicitly considering these logistics hubs. To achieve this goal, several steps have to be implemented:

  1. Theory-guided, empirically based typological order of logistics hubs
    Inventory controlling hubs (distribution network hubs) as well as non-inventory controlling hubs (transport network hubs) are considered. For the derivation of a systematic correlation between the typology of logistics hubs and the resulting freight traffic, the main focus is on non-inventory controlling hubs in this project.
  2. Determination of the specific ingoing and outgoing volume of traffic for different types of logistics hubs
    Based on the typology of hubs, specific volumes of traffic are determined. In this context, parameters of single hubs or locations are considered microscopically and abstracted to an extent that makes it possible to develop typical and similar groups for macroscopic approaches.
  3. Developing a theory for integrating logistics hubs and their specific volume of traffic into a freight transport demand model
    Based on macroscopic and disaggregated approaches, a theory is developed, which incorporates single nodes, their network integration and their transport demand in an aggregated way. This is the basis for a crucial improvement of freight transport demand modelling.


  • Development of a typology of logistics hubs
  • Analysis of secondary statistics
  • Empirical survey
  • Literary analysis about freight transport demand modelling
  • Development of a demand theory
  • Typification
  • Characteristic value formation
  • Implementation and validation

Contracting entity

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)


  • DLR - Institute of Transport Research
  • Institute of Transport Logistics at TU Dortmund, Professor Clausen

Projekt duration

June 2011 – May 2013

Dr. rer. pol. Jens Klauenberg
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Commercial Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-192

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

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