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The choice of shipment size in freight transport

Abstract : Classic spatialised freight transport models are based on a four stage representation of the decisions shippers and carriers take. The decisions this representation distinguishes are: emitted and received flow rates, supplier or receiver choice, transport mode, itinerary. However, freight transport is discrete by nature: commodities are moved by bundles called shipments. Shipments are absent from the four stage representation. This study is aimed at investigating the role of the choice of shipment size in the freight transport system. After a review of recent freight transport modelling advances and of some logistic models, we proceed to a systems analysis of freight transport. Agents are identified, their behaviours and relationships are described. This allows for a clarification of the linkage between logistics and freight transport. Then, attentions is paid to the empirical observation of the freight transport system. Propositions are made to improve French roadside surveys, so as to better observe the productivity and technical choices of motor carriers. The seminal microeconomic model of optimal shipment size called Economic Order Quantity is assessed econometrically using the ECHO database. Lastly, two particular issues are addressed using microeconomic models. First, the equilibrium freight rates of a schematic road freight transport market are modelled, on the basis of an explicit representation of the logistic imperatives of shippers and of the technology of carriers (the consolidation of shipments in vehicles is accounted for). Second, the logistic imperatives of shippers are analysed in detail to explain why a shipper would use two transport modes simultaneously for a unique commodity flow
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François Combes. The choice of shipment size in freight transport. Architecture, space management. Université Paris-Est, 2009. English. ⟨NNT : 2009PEST1075⟩. ⟨tel-00489371v2⟩

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