Freight transport flows are generating high number of vehicle movements. Modelling freight flows gives consequently crucial information for both public and private decision makers. Generally freight transport models consider flows by commodity type between meso-level traffic analysis zones. Only a few models are taking into account loading units, as they make the difference between containers and general cargo. There is, however, a huge variety within the general cargo category. Pallets, liquid bulk, solid bulk and others have different characteristics in terms of volumes, inventory costs, transshipment costs, et cetera. Considering those issues is new and primordial contribution in the evolution of freight transport modelling towards more disaggregated agent-based systems. Nine different types of loading units are together with ten commodity types integrated in an agent-based freight transport model for Belgium which is currently under development.
Mommens, K., Van Lier, T., & Macharis, C. (2016). Loading Unit in Freight Transport Modelling. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 83, pp. 921–927). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2016.04.186