Horizontal collaboration in the freight transport sector: barrier and decision-making frameworks

Ahmed Karam Abdelfattah Mostafa*, Kristian Hegner Reinau, Christian Richter Østergaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
204 Downloads (Pure)


In the freight transport sector, competing companies horizontally collaborate through establishing Collaborative Transport Networks (CTNs). Fruitful implementation of CTNs will leverage environmental and socio-economic goals of sustainable development in the freight transport sector. The benefits of CTNs in horizontal collaborative settings have been widely demonstrated through several modelling approaches. However, in practice, the real applications of CTNs have been challenging and most did not achieve satisfactory performances. Some studies have addressed this issue by identifying different barriers to CTN implementation. However, a conceptual framework for the barriers is not well-established. In addition, the literature lacks a decision-making framework for the CTN implementation which considers the different barriers. To address this gap, this paper conducted a literature review of the barriers to CTN implementation. In total, 31 different barriers were identified. A conceptual barrier framework is developed by grouping the 31 barriers into five categories: the business model, information sharing, the human factors, the Collaborative Decision Support Systems (CDSSs), and the market. The paper additionally proposes a stage-gate model integrating the conceptual barrier framework into the CTN implementation decision-making process. The current work contributes to the existing literature by developing both theoretical and practical understandings of the barriers to implementing CTNs and will support decision makers in CTN implementation to maximize the CTN benefits and minimize the risk of CTN failure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalEuropean Transport Research Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

The article has a correction: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12544-022-00537-2

Following the publication of the original article [1], it was noted that due to a typesetting error the author affiliation of the author Kristian Hegner Reinau is incorrect. The correct author affiliation is:

Ahmed Karam1,2, Kristian Hegner Reinau1 and Christian Richter Østergaard3

1Department of the Built Environment, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

2Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering at Shoubra, Benha University, Cairo, Egypt

3Aalborg University Business School, Aalborg, Denmark

The original article has been corrected.


  • Barriers
  • Decision-making
  • Freight
  • Horizontal collaboration
  • Real application
  • Stage-gate model
  • Transport


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