Guest editorial: NOFOMA2022 special issue

Gunnar Stefansson (School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland) (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Supply and Operation Management, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden)
Violeta Roso (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Supply and Operation Management, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 7 May 2024

Issue publication date: 7 May 2024



Stefansson, G. and Roso, V. (2024), "Guest editorial: NOFOMA2022 special issue", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 54 No. 2, pp. 137-138.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

The 34th annual conference of the Nordic Society of Logistics researchers, NOFOMA, was planned and hosted by University of Iceland, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, June 8 to 10, in Reykjavik, Iceland. This was the first on site conference since the COVID-19 pandemic after two consecutive on-line conferences, also hosted and supported by University of Iceland. The theme of the conference was linked to disruptions and resilience in supply chains.

As usual, the NOFOMA presents keynote speakers on issues relevant to the conference. The first keynote talk linked to the problem of the resilience issues where the purchase manager of Marel, an Icelandic based company and leading innovation company and producer of food processing equipment, initially for the fishing industry in Iceland, but now a leader in both beef and poultry industry world-wide, addressing the huge problem of purchasing important raw material and components during the pandemic. This relates not the least to one of their major raw material, stainless steel. Interesting to conclude that due to scarcity, all major actors in the market are buying what is available, more or less regardless of needs in fear of stockout due to failing supply chains, a very realistic problem linked to supply chain management and resilience The second keynote speaker from Icelandair Cargo, a major airline operator in Iceland, both in passenger and freight movements, introduced the challenges they faced as the passenger operations more or less vanished early 2020 with huge consequences on the belly freight movement that Icelandic exporters has been relying on for decades to movement of fresh fish, mainly farmed ones such a salmon and arctic char, to foreign markets in Europe and North America. During that situation, Icelandair Cargo needed to step in and take over a very busy market that cannot tolerate any delays due to the freshness of the product, a proof of the importance of resilience in logistics operations, again. Those two keynotes really brought about the importance of resilient logistics operations that is required to provide supports and secure supplies to both societies and industries.

The NOFOMA conference has always had its stronghold in the physical arena where the meeting between peers have been carried out successfully for 34 years in various places in the Nordic countries and in times have had over 100 presentations carried out. All full papers do undergo a double-blind review process and we, the hosts, would like to bring our sincere gratitude to those of you dedicating your time in the review process that is one of our major strengths in carrying out the NOFOMA annual conference. The main conference, taking place on June 9 and 10 attracted initially more than 120 abstracts; in the end brought 50 full papers through double blind review in addition to 34 work in progress, resulting in 84 presentations during the two busy days. Out of the 50 full papers, seven were initially invited to improve their manuscript one step further and submit their paper for a new double-blind peer review process. At the end, three of the seven did make it all the way for publication in this International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management NOFOMA2022 Special Issue. Special thanks go to the editor-in-chief and the editorial team of IJPDLM for the continued collaboration and support.

We are proud to present three papers from the NOFOMA2022 conference in this Special Issue. The first paper, “Exploring how retail and logistics service provider managers make sense of sustainability in last mile delivery”, deals with the increasing amount of last mile deliveries (LMD) and how it may pose sustainability challenges, that retailers and logistics service providers (LSPs) can alleviate. The paper explores the underlying sustainability interpretations of retail and LSP managers in the context of LMD, utilizing cognitive frames as a lens. The major findings are that both retailers and LSPs interpret sustainability primarily as environmental sustainability and social sustainability are not often considered. Most managers have a hierarchical cognitive frame regarding sustainability, where sustainability is an important topic, but is subversive to economic interests. The frame content attributes differ between retailers and LSPs.

The second paper, “Comparing flexibility-based measures during different disruptions: evidence from maritime supply chains”, provides insights regarding important characteristics of disruptions to increase knowledge on how to limit effects in maritime supply chains by comparing effects and measures related to the pandemic to those of a port conflict. The major findings identify similarities and differences between the pandemic and port conflict. Both involve long duration, capacity shortages and flexible measures. The pandemic was global and started further away, highlighting differences in control. Sweden’s peripheral location in the maritime transport system emphasizes resource prioritization, e.g. containers.

The third paper, “Operational performance of light electric freight vehicles in the last mile: two Nordic case studies”, has the purpose of assessing the performance of LEFVs, more specifically cargo cycles in major 3PL organizations in two Nordic countries. The results from the studied cases show that LEFVs can compete with conventional vans in last mile delivery operations of ecommerce parcels. The results indicate that cargo cycles are best suited to carrying customer density and a high number of stops. Introducing cargo cycles into logistic systems creates both costs and benefits that are split between different actors. The logistics companies bear the extra cost of transhipment facilities and maintenance for instance, while cities and inhabitants benefit from less vehicle movement, less pollution and less congestion. Hence, introducing cargo cycles into logistic systems creates both costs and benefits that are split between different actors.

The included papers give a good indication of, not only the variety of topics dealt with by the NOFOMA society, but also the quality it brings about due to its research implications and industry through its research and managerial impacts, something that we as a research society are immensely proud of. More importantly, these papers serve a platform to advanced logistics and supply chain management knowledge and address the resilience challenges that we face today.

Hope you will enjoy this International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management NOFOMA2022 Special Issue.

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