A behavioural analysis of modal choice in freight transport
The processes of transport decision-making within a firm have been investigated to ascertain those variables which can "best" explain freight transport modal choice. Although only road and rail freight transport have been considered, this results in nine distinct modal categories available to those wishing to despatch goods. An overview of physical distribution is presented along with the detailed consideration of the total distribution cost and logistics concepts. The approaches that have been used to date to study freight transport modal split are exemplified under the three main headings of: (1) the aggregate flow approach; (2) the consignment approach; and, (3) the market research approach. A critical review of these approaches has been undertaken as well as of their theoretical underpinnings. This has culminated in the finding that the most appropriate approach to the study of freight modal choice is from the standpoint of the transport decision-maker within the firm.