Modelling global container freight transport demand

Lóránt A. Tavasszy*, Olga Ivanova, Ronald Aprilyanto Halim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this chapter is to discuss methods and techniques for a quantitative and descriptive analysis of future container transport demand at a global level. Information on future container transport flows is useful for various purposes. It is instrumental for the assessment of returns of investments in network infrastructure and fleets, the prediction of environmental impacts of transport and the analysis of success of governmental policies about maritime markets and hinterland transport systems. As the future development of global freight flows is unknown and quite uncertain, models are used to define plausible and consistent scenarios of the future performance of the sector. Models of global container transport demand can follow the generic architecture available for freight transport modelling. We describe the methods and techniques available by reviewing the literature with a specific focus on global level freight modelling and treat the subject in two main parts. One part involves modelling the demand for movement between regions, i.e. the outcome of the processes of production, consumption and trade. The second part involves the modelling of demand for transport services by mode and route of transport, including the demand for maritime and inland port services. In both parts we find that surprisingly little research has been conducted specifically for descriptive models of global container movements. Future work can focus on the linkages between container transport and supply chain management. This may include a better understanding of the contribution of shippers’ preferences to observed shipping choices. Also, future developments in geographic restructuring of supply chains because of changes in manufacturing locations or distribution structures, could be looked into. Finally, as global, integrative models do not yet exist, combining new trade and transport network models in a consistent way should provide new tools for long term forecasting and policy analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
ISSN (Print)08848289


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling global container freight transport demand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this