Minimization of empty container truck trips: insights into truck-sharing constraints

Samsul Islam (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)
Yangyan Shi (College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China) (Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Jashim Uddin Ahmed (North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Mohammad Jasim Uddin (Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 13 May 2019



The issue of empty truck trips is largely ignored in the current literature. In order to cover this important research gap, the purpose of this paper is to explore, describe, categorize and rank the potential truck-sharing constraints for container trucks traveling empty around the port gates.


In order to contribute empirically to the current body of knowledge and understandings of truck-sharing constraints, this paper adopts a multi-method empirical approach involving both qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaire surveys.


Among many key constraints that influence the future of truck-sharing opportunities, the authors determine, for example, that a carrier’s ability to earn the trust of its competitors is one of the top most important factors of success for a fruitful truck-sharing event. The problem is, perhaps, further complicated because of the increasing competitive environment in the container transport industry, as well as the lack of effective coordination between the key parties involved.

Research limitations/implications

None of the earlier studies has provided a broad understanding and ranking of the truck-sharing constraints that should be considered in truck-sharing events, although the empty trips issue has been limitedly mentioned in the recent academic literature.

Practical implications

Empty truck trips are wasted miles. Wasted empty miles decrease transport capacity in the container distribution chain along with causing an increase in carbon emission, traffic congestion, fuel consumption and environmental pollution. The research results can be used by policy makers to underpin effective measures to prevent the low utilization of trucks.


This study addresses an important gap. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study in the area that ranks truck-sharing constraints to reduce empty trucks trips.



Islam, S., Shi, Y., Ahmed, J. and Uddin, M. (2019), "Minimization of empty container truck trips: insights into truck-sharing constraints", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 641-662.

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