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Last-mile logistics in the sharing economy: sustainability paradoxes

Btissam Moncef (ISC Paris Business School and CleRMa, Université Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Marlène Monnet Dupuy (CRET-LOG, Aix-Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence, France)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 21 May 2021

Issue publication date: 27 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore sustainability paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by focusing on logistics management in last-mile logistics.

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory study, a total of 10 case studies were conducted in three categories of companies: anti-waste platforms, food delivery platforms and bicycle delivery companies. Twenty-seven face-to-face interviews with founders and/or managers and contractors (couriers, logistics service providers or volunteers) were the primary source of data collection. The heterogeneity of the sample enabled the authors to build an understanding of sustainability paradoxes in the logistics of sharing economy initiatives.

Findings

The findings indicate how logistics management impacts the sustainability of sharing economy initiatives in last-mile delivery. The authors identify seven paradoxical tensions (five of them social) generated by the contradictions between the organizations' promised environmental and social values and the impacts of their operations.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory research is based on a qualitative study of 10 cases and 27 interviews from heterogeneous samples; further empirical research is needed to ensure generalization.

Practical implications

The paper increases the understanding of environmental and social paradoxical tensions and awareness of logistics challenges.

Social implications

The paper helps identify ways to reconcile promised values and impacts generated by sharing economy initiatives while managing last-mile delivery.

Originality/value

The results enrich the literature about the paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by providing illustrations in last-mile logistics and exposing the underlying challenges for sharing economy logistics actors.

Keywords

Citation

Moncef, B. and Monnet Dupuy, M. (2021), "Last-mile logistics in the sharing economy: sustainability paradoxes", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 51 No. 5, pp. 508-527. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-10-2019-0328

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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