A review of the transportation mode choice and carrier selection literature

Mary J. Meixell (Department of Management, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)
Mario Norbis (Department of Management, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 15 August 2008



The purpose of this paper is to categorize transportation choice research (mode choice and carrier selection) leading to insight on themes in the literature and directions for future research


The proposed transportation choice research categorization framework is based on a comprehensive literature review of the peer‐reviewed journal papers published over the past 20 years, supplemented with a review of practitioner articles to identify current challenges in the logistics field. The academic papers are analyzed in terms of research purpose/question, methodology, findings, and challenges addressed.


The review reveals that several important themes are under‐represented in the transportation choice literature: environmental and energy use concerns; security in the supply chain; supply chain integration; international growth; and the role of the internet and emerging information technologies. This review also found that simulation, case study, and interview methodologies are under‐represented, and that normative modeling research is only lightly represented in this research.


The contributions of this research are three‐fold: the development of a classification scheme for transportation choice research, a structured review that provides a guide to earlier research on the subject of transportation choice, and the identification of research issues for future investigation.



Meixell, M. and Norbis, M. (2008), "A review of the transportation mode choice and carrier selection literature", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 183-211. https://doi.org/10.1108/09574090810895951

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