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Spatial patterns of logistics facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden

Journal article
Authors Adeline Heitz
Laetitia Dablanc
Jerry Olsson
Ivan Sanchez-Diaz
Johan Woxenius
Published in Journal of Transport Geography
ISSN 0966-6923
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Language en
Keywords Gothenburg Logistics sprawl Urban structure Freight planning Logistics facilities Warehouses
Subject categories Transport Systems and Logistics, Business Administration, Human Geography, Economic Geography


In recent years, the location of logistics facilities, in particular with regard to “logistics sprawl,” has emerged as a topic in the literature that is, a process of spatial decentralisation of logistics facilities in large metropolitan areas. The aim of this paper is to look at logistics sprawl patterns in the Gothenburg metropolitan area, in the south-west of Sweden. Looking at a medium-size monocentric urban region that is also a major port gateway for the country, this study provides novel elements in the study of locational patterns of freight facilities in metropolitan areas. It also provides an opportunity to identify the role of freight in planning, land use and zoning policies. A literature review is carried out on the issues of freight and logistics facilities locational patterns. A quantitative analysis is proposed, using data from Swedish statistics about the number of establishments with a NACE code related to logistics, as well as an original method providing a “cleaned” and more comprehensive dataset. We look at data at two different scales, one metropolitan and one regional, for years 2000 and 2014, as to enable a comparative and diachronical analysis. Logistics sprawl is measured by the average distance of warehouses to their common centre of gravity. Finally, interviews with transport and logistics providers as well as real estate investors and public agencies in the region, add qualitative information on the relative importance of different location factors related to logistics facilities and the issues raised. Logistics sprawl in Gothenburg occurs in specific ways, and differently at the two geographical levels of analysis.

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