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

Samsul Islam, Yangyan Shi*, Jashim Uddin Ahmed, Mohammad Jasim Uddin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: 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. 

Design/methodology/approach: 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.

Findings: 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.

Originality/value: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-662
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Early online date13 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019


  • Asia
  • Logistics industry
  • Maritime logistics
  • Mixed method


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