Same–same but different? A comparison of food retail and distribution structures in France and Germany


We conducted an empirical analysis of the food retail markets in France and Germany.

Commonalities and differences between the distribution systems are pointed out.

The impact of the findings on international freight transport modeling is examined.

International freight transport modeling and related data sourcing are discussed.


When modeling international freight transport, it is tempting to assume logistical structures for national markets all over the world are almost identical, at least when it comes to specific market segments, e.g. food or fashion. This is not the case, though. Despite several parallels, there are some fundamental differences which are reflected in different logistics food distribution systems and which result in different freight transport demand.

The DLR Institute of Transport Research in cooperation with IFSTTAR France conducted a detailed empirical analysis of the food retail market in France and in Germany. Based on the data collected, the differences in transport demand structures for the same product are outlined. The implications of such differences for the requirements of international freight transport modeling are discussed in conclusion.


Freight modeling
Food retail
Retail supply
Data availability

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