Hub and Spoke

In logistics, hub and spoke refers to the organization of the shipment of goods between shipper A and recipient B via a central logistics node. Hub and spoke means hub and spokes. The logistics node is the hub and the connection to A and B are the spokes. In contrast, in direct traffic, the connection from A and B is served directly.

Hub and Spoke – Optimize Transports

The goal of hub and spoke systems is to optimize the utilization of the corresponding means of transport. Ideally, a full load can always be dispatched in the hub. Hub and Spoke great importance in letter and parcel delivery, courier transports, groupage transports and rail freight transports. Since in hub and spoke the utilization of the transport always comes first, even longer distances are covered with the involvement of the central hub than would be the case in direct transport.

Hub and spoke logistics comes from air (freight) transport. The traffic flows of goods and also passengers are bundled at the hubs. This reduces transport costs and increases the range of connections.

Hub and Spoke Systems

First, a distinction is made between hub and spoke systems with one hub to which the shipper and receiver are connected or systems with multiple hubs. If multiple hubs are integrated in the system, both senders can serve more than one hub and receivers can be connected to more than one hub. In many systems, direct transports are also set up for the busy connections between two end nodes, which are made without the transshipment in the hub.

Handling and dispatching in the hub

In order to make optimal use of the hub and spoke networks, the hub is supplied with shipments from the end nodes in scheduled services. Shipments arriving there on schedule are unloaded, re-sorted and in turn loaded onto transports from the hub to the recipient node.