There is consensus among experts that the design of future supply chains will have to focus more strongly on environmental concerns. Sustainability will play a major role within the business and has an impact especially on the distant future. Thus, supply chain executives are challenged in designing sustainable supply chains for the future. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
The authors develop expert-based scenarios, which describe how future supply chains could evolve by 2030. The authors focus on the transportation and logistics industry’s perspective to provide an industry-internal view. The data collection is based on an internet-based Delphi survey. Overall, 48 top executives from 20 countries, representing academic, governmental, and industrial perspectives, participated in the survey.
The authors operationalized the research question into five concrete sub-topics relevant for investigation: energy and emissions, consumer behaviour, future transport modes, design of future supply chains, and innovation. The authors derive five Delphi-based scenarios defined by clusters of their impact and expected probability: measurement and control of CO2-emissions; integrated low energy logistics systems; business-as-usual logistics; no-frills logistics and alternative fuels. Each cluster contributes differently to supply chain strategy.
The authors address the major issues and challenges experts expect regarding future supply chains in an energy-constrained, low-carbon world. Five scenario clusters evolved for supply chain strategy development. Finally, the authors make recommendations towards strategic planning in the transportation and logistics industry.
The authors are grateful for the valuable support of Dr Tobias Gnatzy, his insightful reflections in various discussions and feedback on an earlier version of this paper. The authors would like to thank Klaus-Dieter Ruske, Dr Peter Kauschke, Julia Reuter, Dr Elizabeth Montgomery from PwC, and Janice Magel for their support and assistance. Further, the authors would also like to thank all participants of the Delphi study as well as PwC Germany for the funding of the project.
von der Gracht, H. and Darkow, I. (2016), "Energy-constrained and low-carbon scenarios for the transportation and logistics industry", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 142-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-12-2013-0150Download as .RIS
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