Governance and Business Models for Regional Freight Villages and Terminals: a Case Study

Governance and Business Models for Regional Freight Villages and Terminals: a Case Study

Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award


Giovanni Zenezini, Politecnico di Torino, Alberto De Marco, Politecnico di Torino, Tiziana Delmastro, SiTI-Higher Institute on Territorial Systems for Innovation


This work presents the case study of the logistics system of the Piedmont region, with the purpose of illustrating how international trends have brought freight villages and terminals to specialize their mission and activities.


Current trends, such as containerization of international trades, incentives to the differentiation of the mode of transport and multimodal shipping, and the rising bargaining power of the oceanic shipping companies have brought major changes to regional logistics systems. In this context, many freight villages and terminals have been specializing their mission and activities into different business and governance models, such as either intermodal operations or added value logistics services.
With the purpose of illustrating such trend, this work presents the case study of the Piedmont region in the North-West of Italy at the cross point of main European freight corridors and close to the Mediterranean ports. In particular, we focus our analysis on the managing companies of freight villages and terminals that handle both intermodal and conventional freight. Firstly, we review governance and business models available in the literature, as well as in case studies of regional experiences and best practices internationally, in order to underline the main similarities and differences with other comparable regions. Then, to validate our findings, we run a questionnaire and a set of field interviews to the managers of both privately and publicly-owned managing companies. Through the survey we are able to provide a comprehensive insight on their main business models and future strategies. Based on this analysis we propose to group freight villages and terminals into three main clusters according to their core business and freight origin-destination traffic flows. Some preliminary conclusions are drawn together with discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of each cluster.


Association for European Transport