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The geography of freight transportation evolves at various scales, but it is increasingly acknowledged that freight flows occurring at the local level are a result of global and regional economic processes. Internationally, distribution networks have expanded, namely through the division of production, manufacturing and consumption. This has been accompanied by a growth of the quantity of freight being shipped as well as by a complication of supply and distribution chains. Most of the geography of freight at this scale is derived from strategic considerations where issues such as production and subcontracting planning and the choice of hubs and routes are considered for implementing global supply chains. Locally, many activities concerned with freight distribution have been modified with new transport terminals and distribution centres in response to growing consumption as well as from the imperatives of fragmented supply chains. From their traditional location around central areas with prevalent port and rail linkages, transport terminals and distribution centres have shifted to peripheral locations where road and airport linkages are more prevalent. The geography of freight at this scale is mainly derived from operational considerations aimed at servicing the requirements of local distribution with well-known strategies such as just-in-time and door-to-door. This paper is concerned about the intermediate, or regional, scale of freight transportation with a specific emphasis on one of the largest urban region in the world; the Boston–Washington corridor (Bostwash). Transport corridors and urban regions represent the geographical scale of freight distribution where global and local distribution systems interact. They are the dominant spheres of production and consumption of freight distribution. Conceptual and empirical evidence to analyse the relationships between the geography of transport terminals, regional freight distribution and urban corridors is provided.

Keywords: Freight transportation; logistics, BosWash/ BostWash; mega-urban regions; transport corridors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics & Geography, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11549, USA., Email:

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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