HUB is a common term in logistics for a central goods transhipment point. HUB can be interpreted both as a takeover of the English word hub = hub and as an abbreviation for the term main transhipment base. Sometimes it is also spoken of hub and spoke – German = “hub and spoke” or spoke architecture.
At the HUB, a logistics network is structured in such a way that the end points of the network are not directly connected to each other, but rather all routes lead to and from a central point, the main transhipment point. With the establishment of a HUB, the transport costs should be minimized. The planning and implementation of such central transhipment points is one of the main logistical tasks, for the solution of which operations research methods are often used.
The HUB idea has its origins in air freight traffic. It was first used in air freight networks in the USA in the 1970s. Air freight traffic is still an important area of application today, especially for the large courier express services. In addition, HUBs are also used for other means of transport, for example in sea freight transport in so-called feeder transport or in rail freight transport.