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Integrating intermodal transport with logistics: a case study of the UK retail sector

Monios, Jason


Jason Monios


Retail traffic is one of the main drivers for the growth of intermodal transport services in the UK. The aim of this paper is to understand the key factors underpinning this modal shift in order to learn lessons for other market and geographical contexts. Successful retail intermodal logistics involves many actors, thus this paper is based on semi-structured interviews with major retailers, third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and rail operators, supplemented by document analysis. The qualitative data are analysed via a conceptual framework derived from the literature. Despite past successes and the presence of drivers for future growth, the paper identifies many operational issues without current solutions and the presence of ongoing public subsidy. The major conclusion is that the importance of 3PLs, aggregation and multi-user platforms must be recognised by transport planners in supporting the use of intermodal transport by retailers and other large shippers.


Monios, J. (2015). Integrating intermodal transport with logistics: a case study of the UK retail sector. Transportation Planning and Technology, 38(3), 347-374.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2014
Online Publication Date Feb 23, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 15, 2017
Journal Transportation Planning and Technology
Print ISSN 0308-1060
Electronic ISSN 1029-0354
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 3
Pages 347-374
Keywords Retail; logistics; rail; intermodal transport; integration; distribution;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date May 15, 2017


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