Gate-Arrival Terminals—Solution for Air Cargo—

by Francis Chin, (A.M.ASCE), Formerly, Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,
Jorge Rebelo, Instr.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Laurenco Marques, Laurenco Marques, Mozambique,
Richard de Neufville, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Center of Transportation Studies, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 47-60

Document Type: Journal Paper


Analysis indicates that the gate-arrival concept of terminal design is an economical way to provide facilities to handle air cargo at airports. Although the gate-arrival concept has previously only been used for passenger terminals, it appears to be uniquely appropriate for cargo. It is competitive with, if not less expensive than the alternative: centralized, automated cargo terminals. The advantage of gate-arrival terminals stems from the existence of severe diseconomies of scale in the provision of automated warehouses, which is demonstrated by an extensive statistical analysis of actual facilities. It is to be noted that automated terminals require essentially as much labor as gate-arrival facilities. The automation eliminates labor from the sorting operations which need not be performed when traffic arrives presorted by destination to a gate. While economics generally favor the gate-arrival concept, other factors, such as a substantial amount of transfer traffic, may favor centralized terminals.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Freight terminals | Automation | Labor | Traffic management | Conceptual design | Airport terminals | Passengers

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