The obstacles to cold chain implementation in developing countries: insights from Vietnam

David Gligor (Department of Marketing, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Albert Tan (Education Division, Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Thi Nha Trang Nguyen (Curtin University, Miri, Malaysia)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 13 August 2018



The purpose of this paper is to identify the obstacles that impede cold chain implementation in developing countries.


A grounded theory methodology was employed to execute this research. Eight semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with senior managers in Vietnam. In addition, consistent with grounded theory guidelines, the authors utilized archival data to facilitate theory development.


The results of the analysis revealed a total of ten key obstacles: deficient professional skills, lack of quality and safety-control measures, high concentration of intermediaries, poor infrastructure, lack of information systems, high cost of installation and operation, inadequate education and training at farmer level, deficiency of standardization, lack of government support for local businesses and social norms.


Although many authors have recognized the enormity of food wastage and limited employment of cold chain in developing countries compared to developed countries, few efforts have been made to explore the reasons for the limited use of cold chains in developing countries. There are several noteworthy theoretical and managerial contributions that emerged from addressing this gap.



Gligor, D., Tan, A. and Nguyen, T. (2018), "The obstacles to cold chain implementation in developing countries: insights from Vietnam", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 942-958.

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