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Antecedents of freight transportation for sustainable supply chain in the post-COVID era: an emerging market study

Ashish Dwivedi (Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Saurabh Pratap (Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT BHU, Varanasi, India)
Fuli Zhou (School of Economics and Management, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou, China)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 16 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 June 2023




In past years, the global supply chain has witnessed devastating effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the interest of the Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) stakeholders on sustainability. The stakeholders are now rethinking their business processes and strategy to make them sustainable. In this context, the relevant literature is required to support emerging markets to formulate sustainability-focussed strategies. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of potential antecedents that leads towards sustainable development of freight transportation in emerging markets.


Initially, the antecedents of the Sustainable Freight Transport (SFT) system are derived from the literature survey followed by verification from the experts. Then, the potential antecedents are categorized under four (social, organizational, operational and environmental) broad categories. Afterwards, a Neutrosophic Analytic Network Process (N-ANP) method is employed to obtain the priority weights of the identified potential antecedents.


The paper identified and ranked 17 antecedents of the SFT system. According to the study’s findings, the top three antecedents of SFT are “the presence of a multimodal transportation system,” “circularity in SFT” and “traffic congestion management”. The results from the study advocate the promotion of existing multi-modal transport facilities which is promising to achieve sustainability. The results suggested the adoption of the digital twin to manage the transport operations.


This study sheds light on how to achieve sustainability in the freight transportation system post-COVID era highlighting the potential antecedents. The study’s findings will assist practitioners in developing SFT strategies in the face of such pandemics in future.



Dwivedi, A., Pratap, S. and Zhou, F. (2023), "Antecedents of freight transportation for sustainable supply chain in the post-COVID era: an emerging market study", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 1453-1471.



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