Truthful double auction mechanisms for online freight platforms with transaction costs

Jiantao Guo, Juliang Zhang, T. C.E. Cheng, Shouting Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, many online freight platforms have appeared to improve transport market efficiency. An important problem faced by such platforms is how to elicit the agents’ information and to match their supplies and demands efficiently. To address the problem, we propose the modified Multi-unit Trading Reduction and Vickery‒Clarke‒Groves (MMTR-MVCG) mechanism for considering heterogeneous transaction costs. Under this mechanism, the shippers and carriers first decide their bids, and then the platform determines the trading agents, sets the transaction prices, and matches the shippers’ demands and the carriers’ supplies. We show that this mechanism is incentive-compatible, individually rational, budget-balanced, and asymptotically efficient. For the special case with homogeneous transaction costs, we first show that the MMTR-MVCG mechanism can be simplified. In addition, we design a new double auction mechanism for the case with asymmetric demand information and homogeneous transaction costs and show that this mechanism also is incentive- compatible, individually rational, budget-balanced, and asymptotically efficient. Moreover, we conduct numerical studies to assess the impacts of transaction costs and information asymmetry on the mechanisms and compare the performance of our mechanisms with those of two commonly used mechanisms. Our mechanisms can yield greater social welfare, more trading agents, and larger trading volumes than the other two mechanisms. We also discuss the impact of the subsidy strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-186
Number of pages23
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Double auction
  • Information asymmetry
  • Logistics management
  • Mechanism design
  • Transport procurement mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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