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Green Supply and Demand on the Logistics Market
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8969-9396
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A well-known concept, both in practice and in literature is the logistics market. This market is a place where shippers’ demand for logistics services meets Logistics Service Providers’ (LSPs’) supply of such services. Although this market has been given much attention in previous research, focus has been on shippers, while the LSP perspective has to a large extent been neglected. Several logistics related trends indicate that there is an increasing need for strong relationships between LSPs and supply chains, and one such trend is the “greening” of companies and supply chains. Although it is widely recognised that transports and  logistics are a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, environmental logistics literature has only focused on the interaction between LSPs and their customers to a very limited extent. This is despite the fact that LSPs could include so-called green categories in their offerings, just as shippers could include green categories in their demands and that this interaction could in turn contribute to a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions.

The purpose of this thesis is to describe the extent to which green categories are taken into account in the logistics market and suggest explanations. This includes identifying those green categories that are relevant for the logistics market, as well as a description of matches and mismatches with regard to these green categories. The matches and mismatches are studied from both a general market perspective and a relationship perspective. Initial explanations for the matches and mismatches in the relationship perspective contribute to the final part of the purpose.

There are two basic theoretical starting-points in this thesis. Firstly, it is recognised that the logistics market is important to the purpose and different ways to view this market are therefore discussed. Secondly, general environmental logistics literature provides a basis for the research into green categories that can be offered or demanded on the logistics market. In the exploratoryresearch conducted for the thesis, the insights from literature are combined with empirical datafrom a survey, a homepage scan and four case studies of buyer-supplier relationships.

One main contribution of this thesis is the large number of green categories that are identified as relevant for LSPs and shippers on the logistics market. These green categories range from environmental management systems, vehicle technologies and CO2 reports, to reviews of sustainability reports, relationship specific green projects and general desires among shippers to decrease CO2 emissions.

A comparison of the supply of and demand for the green categories indicates that from a general market perspective, there appear to be clear mismatches between green supply and green demand. The same comparison made from a relationship perspective also indicates severalmismatches between green supply and green demand, but the buyer-supplier relationships studied show matches between green offerings and green demands to a greater extent than the market perspective does. Interestingly, the LSPs seem to include more in their offerings than the shippers appear to include in their demands for almost all mismatches in both the market perspective and the relationship perspective.

Seven propositions are made to account for the matches and mismatches between green categories in buyer-supplier relationships. Three of these propositions are related to the characteristics of those green categories that are found in the relationships. It is suggested that the tangibility level of green categories influences the occurrence of matches and mismatches in the relationships and the more tangible a green category is, the higher is the likelihood of a match between supply and demand in that relationship. The opposite is also suggested, as well as the idea that the more relationship specific green categories are, the fewer the mismatches that appear in that relationship.

The remaining four propositions relate to the potential connection between the type of relationship between LSPs and shippers and green matches and mismatches in their relationships. It is suggested that the closer a business relationship is, 1) the greater the number of green categories it has 2) the better green categories are communicated 3) the greater the number of matches compared to mismatches of green categories and 4) the higher the level of green category collaboration is.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2011. , 171 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1496
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68843Local ID: LiU-TEK-Lic 2011:35ISBN: 978-91-7393-137-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-68843DiVA: diva2:421283
Presentation
2011-05-30, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-06-08 Created: 2011-06-08 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Greening the offerings of logistics service providers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Greening the offerings of logistics service providers
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual NOFOMA Conference: Logistics and Supply Chain Management in a Globalised Economy / [ed] Arlbjørn Stentoft, Kolding, 2010, 969-984 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose of this paper: The importance of green aspects for companies is increasing. Therefore logistics service providers have a possibility to compete by being greener than their competitors. One possibility is to offer services that include different green aspects. The purpose of this paper is to develop a description of possible green categories of a logistics offering, based on a combination of customer and logistics service provider perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach: A structured literature review showed what has been published on offerings and requirements regarding green logistics. Empirical data was collected in two steps. A survey was sent out to both shippers and logistics service providers and selected company homepages were scanned.

Findings: The paper identifies a range of green categories as well as more specific aspects that can be a part of logistics service providers’ offerings. The findings consist of views from shippers as well as logistics service providers.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): The paper is mainly based on Swedish companies only and thereby provides a possibility to extend the research into other countries as well. Specific research on logistics companies’ green offerings is still scarce and a multidisciplinary approach is recommended for future research.

Practical implications (if applicable): The paper provides insight into which green aspects logistics service providers can include in their offerings, as well as what customers could demand from logistics service providers.

What is original/value of paper: This paper illustrates both theoretically and empirically which green aspects that can be included in offerings and thereby providing logistics service providers with increased competitiveness alongside increased sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kolding: , 2010
Keyword
Logistics service provider, green logistics, offering, customer demands, survey
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62708 (URN)978-87-92471-05-5 (ISBN)
Conference
The 22nd Annual NOFOMA Conference, June 10-11, Kolding, Denmark
Projects
Konkurrenskraftiga affärsmodeller för att möta framtidens krav på hållbara logistiksystem
Available from: 2010-12-02 Created: 2010-12-02 Last updated: 2016-11-30
2. Matches and Gaps in the Green Logistics market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matches and Gaps in the Green Logistics market
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, ISSN 0960-0035, Vol. 42, no 6, 562-583 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The management of interfaces is central in supply chain management (SCM) and logistics. An important part of SCM is coordination and collaboration with different partners such as suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers and customers (CSCMP, 2010). Collaboration between parties in the supply chain is generally believed to decrease costs and increase efficiency as well as service. Moreover, the success of a firm is dependent on its managerial ability to integrate and coordinate the business relationships among the supply chain members (Lambert and Cooper, 2000). The supply chain linkage ought to be so tight that separate organizational units share the same purpose and suppliers and customers help each other to achieve mutually beneficial objectives (Seth et al., 2006).

In the SCM literature interfaces seldom include the logistics service provider (hereafter labelled LSP). Instead, most interfaces discussed are those between a shipper and the receiver of the goods (Skjoett-Larsen et al., 2003; Stefanson, 2006). One reason for this could be that logistics firms are the least integrated link in supply chains (Lemoine and Skjoett-larsen, 2004) or that, as noted by Fabbe-Costes et al. (2009), LSPs seem to be the forgotten actors of supply chain integration. Furthermore, LSPs are often merely seen as actors that supports other members of the supply chain, providing resources, knowledge, utilities or assets for the primary members (Spens and Bask, 2002). Several logistics related trends, such as the shift towards outsourcing and increased globalisation, increase the need for strong relationships between LSPs and supplychains (Seth et al., 2006).

Most of the research conducted on LSPs applies either a shipper or an LSP perspective, instead of a dyad perspective. Literature in the context of service quality in supply chains also commonly considers only one directional view (Seth et al., 2006). Knemeyer and Murphy (2005) mean that there is a need to simultaneously consider both shipper and LSP perspectives in order to decrease the risk of key perceptual differences (gaps) that can negatively influence the logistics service quality.

Shippers and LSPs face an emerging and considerable challenge because of the large negative impact transports have on the natural environment and, as stated by for example the EEA (2007) and Roth and Kåberger (2002), the environmental performance of the transport sector is an increasing problem. Because of growing freight transport it is not surprising that both shippers and LSPs are pressured from different stakeholders, such as governments and customers, to lower their environmental impact from transports (McKinnon, 2003; McKinnon and Piecyk, 2009; Wolf and Seuring, 2010). This creates an opportunity for LSPs to be proactive and meet these demands by considering environmental issues in their business models and as a value adding service offering.

The correspondence between customer needs and the service offerings is essential in order to succeed with the service concept (Edvardsson, 1997). However, that does not necessarily mean that supply and demand always match. For example, Wolf and Seuring (2010) found that the LSPs seem to be ahead of their customers when it comes to environmental issues, but state this with caution and call for further research in this area. With the aim to learn more about the interface between LSPs and shippers and how environmental issues are taken into account, the purpose of this paper is:

To develop and apply a tool for the identification of matches and gaps in the interface between LSPs’ green offerings and shippers’ green demands.

There are many ways to label the actor responsible for the supply of logistics services. In this paper, the term logistics service providers (LSPs) is applied and, inspired by Fabbe-Costes et al. (2009) and Forslund (2010), includes actors such as carriers, forwarding companies, transport(ation) companies, third party logistics providers/partners and logistics service companies/providers/suppliers.

This paper is divided into five main parts. After the introduction, a literature section on the greening of the LSP-Shipper interface will be presented. This is followed by a gap section, ending with the developed gap model. Next, the survey study is explained, after which findings from the application of the model are presented. The paper ends with conclusions and future research suggestions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald, 2012
Keyword
Sweden, Logistics management, Environmental management, Logistics service provider, Shippers, Interface, Green logistics, Gap analysis
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68838 (URN)10.1108/09600031211250596 (DOI)000314562000004 ()
Projects
Konkurrenskraftiga affärsmodeller för att möta framtidens krav på hållbara logistiksystem
Available from: 2011-06-08 Created: 2011-06-08 Last updated: 2016-11-30
3. Performance Measurements in the Greening of Supply Chains
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Performance Measurements in the Greening of Supply Chains
2012 (English)In: Supply chain management, ISSN 1359-8546, E-ISSN 1758-6852, Vol. 17, no 1, 29-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: In response to increasing demands on improved environmental performance, companies need to develop their capabilities in assessing the environmental performance of their operations. Knowledge among practitioners as well as solid research results in this area lacks. This paper aims to present a framework of dimensions important to consider regarding environmental measurement in supply chain management. The paper also aims to present a practical example on how environmental performance measurements can be a success by applying these dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach: Literature regarding logistics management and performance measurement is coupled with theories regarding environmental logistics and green supply chain management. A framework is developed. A case study based on four actors in a reverse supply chain is used to illustrate the framework.

Findings: The paper outlines important aspects to consider in the design of environmental performance measurements in supply chain management and identifies shortcomings in existing research. The case presents successful examples of how environmental performance measurements can be applied across managerial levels as well as company borders in a supply chain.

Practical implications: The literature review shows shortcomings in the measuring tools applied today. The case provides examples of how these shortcomings can be addressed.

Originality/value: This paper addresses the intersection between environmental logistics and performance measurements. The case shows how environmental performance measurements can be applied over a single company’s borders by including four different actors in the supply chain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012
Keyword
Environmental logistics, Logistics measurement and performance, Green performance measurement, Supply chain management.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68842 (URN)10.1108/13598541211212186 (DOI)000301694700004 ()
Projects
Konkurrenskraftiga affärsmodeller för att möta framtidens krav på hållbara logistiksystem
Available from: 2011-06-08 Created: 2011-06-08 Last updated: 2016-11-30

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