Original Paper

Logistics Research

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 147-156

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

About the impact of rising oil price on logistics networks and transportation greenhouse gas emission

  • Wendelin F. GrossAffiliated with4flow research, 4flow AG Email author 
  • , Cristina HaydenAffiliated with4flow research, 4flow AG
  • , Christian ButzAffiliated withBeuth University of Applied Science


Logistics networks need to handle globally growing transportation volumes in cost efficient and sustainable configurations. This research explores the impact of the oil price on the optimal degree of centralization of logistics networks through the fluctuation of transportation costs. The impact of the degree of centralization on greenhouse gas emissions of transportation is evaluated. Investigations are conducted by means of a model consisting of logistics network, logistics costs, carbon dioxide emissions and an empirically determined relationship of oil price, fuel price and transportation costs. First, the dependency of transportation costs in European road transports from oil prices is derived. Then, the optimal configuration of the logistics network is determined for a range of oil prices. Sensitivity analysis on the value of traded goods is performed. Results show an existing dependency of the European logistics network structure limited to oil prices above 150 USD/barrel. Dependency on the oil price increases for high-value goods compared to low-valued goods. Carbon dioxide emissions diminish with lower centralization degree, as an effect of lower total transport distance.


Greenhouse gas Logistic network design Oil price Transportation costs Mathematical optimization Comparative statics