Source: adapted from EU-funded Urban Transport Research Project Results.
There are fundamental differences between passenger and freight transport systems since they commonly move through separate conveyances and, occasionally, on separate networks. However, the differences are the most acute at their respective terminals since they involve facilities that are often at different locations. For rail transportation, passenger and freight terminals are at very different locations. Airports have distinct facilities for passengers and freight within the complex. A similar observation applies for ports where cruise and ferry terminals are distinct from other freight-only facilities such as bulk and container terminals.
While each passenger is an independent decision-making unit, each freight load must be managed from its origin to its destination, which is the purpose of logistics. In the above figure, the passenger terminal relates to Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong, while the freight terminal concerns a distribution center in Shenzhen (China). Although they are located just 40 km apart, they are operationally a world apart.