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Logistics solutions for reducing food waste

Kristina Liljestrand (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to expand understandings of how logistics can reduce food waste in food supply chains (FSCs).


Using a research framework that associates causes of food waste with logistics solutions, a multiple-case study was conducted in three Swedish FSCs of meat, fruit and vegetables, and ambient products, respectively, and involving industrial producers, wholesalers, and retailers. Data were collected during 19 semistructured interviews and four site visits, and logistics solutions were analysed according to logistics activities, actors involved and their stages in the FSC, and coordination mechanisms.


A joint analysis of nine logistics solutions revealed that to efficiently reduce food waste in FSCs, solutions have been implemented at three stages of FSCs, as well as that those solutions differ in their integration of six logistics activities and four coordination mechanisms. The findings moreover indicate that the solutions are interlinked, thereby implying that coordination is necessary both within solutions as well as among them.

Research limitations/implications

The chief limitation is that the potential of the identified logistics solutions is not quantified.

Practical implications

The paper makes recommendations for reducing food waste in FSCs by developing new solutions and modifying existing ones.

Social implications

The paper suggests ways to reduce significant environmental impacts of food waste.


By building upon previous research explaining causes of food waste, this paper focusses on logistics solutions for reducing such waste.



Liljestrand, K. (2017), "Logistics solutions for reducing food waste", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 318-339.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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