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Establishing a transport operation focused uncertainty model for the supply chain

Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues (Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Damian Stantchev (Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Andrew Potter (Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
and
Mohamed Naim (Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Anthony Whiteing (Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

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Abstract

Purpose

Much of the recent research on supply chain uncertainty has focused on relationships between manufacturers and suppliers and existing models have therefore been based on this dyadic structure. The aim is to establish a supply chain uncertainty model that explicitly incorporates transport operations and hence the logistics triad; supplier, customer and transport carrier.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a literature‐based activity that synthesises and extends existing models of supply chain uncertainty.

Findings

The paper develops a new model to reflect the nature of transport operations. Consequently, it identifies five main categories of uncertainty, namely from the points of view of the supplier, the customer and the carrier, respectively, the control systems used in the supply chain and external factors. The interfaces between the uncertainty categories involving all three parties of the logistics triad are identified, so as to develop a more holistic perspective on supply chain uncertainty and how it can be reduced.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual in nature and empirical research into the area of transport uncertainty will be required to validate its findings. Following this, the model can be used to investigate and evaluate improvements in the economic and/or environmental performance of freight transport within supply chains.

Practical implications

The model is intended to provide a framework within which organisations, including logistics providers, can develop a supply chain strategy to mitigate the effects of uncertainty. By categorising uncertainty into the types described, organisations may determine where the greatest uncertainties lie and hence develop a prioritised plan for supply chain re‐engineering by initially targeting those uncertainties with the most significant implications for supply chain efficiency.

Originality/value

Little research has been undertaken on the impact of uncertainties on transport in the context of collaborative supply chain management. The model rationalises uncertainties into various types taking into account the nature of the logistics triad.

Keywords

Citation

Sanchez Rodrigues, V., Stantchev, D., Potter, A., Naim, M. and Whiteing, A. (2008), "Establishing a transport operation focused uncertainty model for the supply chain", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 388-411. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030810882807

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited