Original Research

The geography of logistics facilities relative to airports: Taxonomy of literature and research agenda

Masilonyane Mokhele
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 16 | a770 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v16i0.770 | © 2022 Masilonyane Mokhele | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2022 | Published: 06 December 2022

About the author(s)

Masilonyane Mokhele, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: The nexus between airports and the spatial distribution of economic activities is a topical research area. This interest is against the backdrop of the growing volumes and flow of goods, which are facilitated by the processes of logistics. It is typically assumed that logistics facilities have to be located in the vicinity of airports. This assumption is, however, not always correct.

Objective: The objectives of the study are two-fold, namely to establish the typology of literature on the locational patterns of logistics facilities relative to airports, and to identify gaps that require more attention towards analysing and appropriately planning for the location of airfreight-related facilities.

Method: To identify relevant studies, the article is based on snowballing method, which was supplemented with the search on the Internet databases of Academic Search Premier and Google Scholar, using ‘logistics and airports’ as keyword sieve. Following the perusal of titles and abstracts, 58 studies were reviewed.

Results: In establishing the typology of literature, a number of overlapping streams were identified, namely international locational patterns of logistics facilities, airfreight catchment of airports, concentration of logistics facilities in the vicinity of airports, and metropolitan areas and regions as logistics hubs.

Conclusion: A comprehensive understanding of the geography of logistics facilities is required so as to anticipate and appropriately cater for the growing flow of goods. Informed by the analysis of literature, areas for future research include the determination of airfreight facilities (from logistics facilities in general) as well as analysis of the airfreight catchment of airports.


logistics; air cargo; airfreight; airports; airfreight catchment; locational patterns


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Crossref Citations

1. Characterization of Airfreight-Related Logistics Firms in the City of Cape Town, South Africa
Masilonyane Mokhele, Tholang Mokhele
Logistics  vol: 7  issue: 3  first page: 38  year: 2023  
doi: 10.3390/logistics7030038