Guest editorial


International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 11 October 2011



Colin, J. and Estampe, D. (2011), "Guest editorial", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 9.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Guest editorial

Article Type: Guest editorial From: International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Volume 41, Issue 9

The 8th International Conference on Logistics and SCM Research (RIRL) was held in Bordeaux (France) from 29 September to 1 October 2010 on the premises of BEM-Bordeaux Management School. The call for abstracts attracted 250 submissions and resulted in 110 fully accepted papers from 30 countries. The papers were all double blind reviewed by an International Scientific Committee.

The 8th RIRL Conference reflected the diversity and vitality of international research in the field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management by developing the following themes:

  • The growing role of inter-organisational logistics approaches and strategies transcending functional silos and inter-company borders. This includes the roles of intermediaries such as logistics service providers.

  • The importance of incorporating the human factor when structuring logistics, particularly in the urgent or stressful circumstances characterising working logistics situations nowadays.

  • The need to account for the multiplicity of cultural contexts circumscribing today’s logistics efforts.

  • Phenomena such as globalisation, internationalisation and interculturality, all of which tend to shake up organisations.

  • The role of technological innovation, particularly in the field of information technology, which is increasingly crucial to supply chain implementation.

  • New economic regulations and sensitivity to changes in the marketplace and in consumer demand – all of which pushes supply chain partners into a constant reconfiguration of their shared solutions.

  • Adherence to sustainability imperatives in the field of logistics, a source simultaneous of problems and solutions, especially when sustainability is a goal shared by all partners collaborating within a supply chain.

This special issue of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management (IJPDLM) contains six papers out of the 110 that were presented. They have been selected after a second double-blind review.

In “Customer-specific adaptation by providers and their perception of 3PL-relationship-success”, Rudolf O. Large, Nikolai Kramer and Rahel Katharina Hartmann (University of Stuttgart) tried to analyse the performance of third-party logistics service providers by focusing on relationship performance, long-term loyalty and provider satisfaction and adaptability. The authors had administered a questionnaire to managers from third-party logistics companies to define the factors influencing provider performance. Analysis showed that the most influential performance factors relate to third-party logistics providers’ ability to adapt their systems and procedures to customer expectations. The explanation is that even if third-party logistics service providers associate dissatisfaction with their customer-specific adaptations, they ultimately recognise its positive influence on satisfaction.

In “Interpretive structural modelling of supply chain risks”, Hans-Christian Pfohl, Philipp Gallus and David Thomas (Technische Universität Darmstadt) studied the supply chain risks faced by several logistics service providers and industrial or commercial companies. This risk analysis used interpretive structural modelling to identify and understand risks’ interdependency at several supply chain levels. The analysis improves understanding of the mutual influences between supply chain risks and the implications for risk mitigation strategy decisions.

As part of their paper “Collaboration as an anti-crisis solution: the role of the procurement function”, Oihab Allal-Chérif (BEM) and Salvator Maira (Grenoble Management School) conducted 12 interviews with procurement directors and managers and discovered major changes in the management of the purchasing function. The 2009 crisis highlighted the need to achieve a new form of procurement that is more geared toward internal and external collaboration and where the goal is not only cost cutting but even more importantly the maximisation of value added in collaboration with supply chain partners.

In “Tax aligned global supply chains: environmental impact illustrations, legal reflections and crossfunctional flow charts”, Oskar Henkow and Andreas Norrman (Lund University) showed that supply chain design and tax systems rarely interact. Using a case study to show tax systems’ potential effect on supply chain designs, the authors came up with a mapping tool enabling a simultaneous modelling of the two systems.

“The impact on urban distribution operations of upstream supply chain constraints” by Michael Browne and Mireia Gomez (University of Westminster) featured an interesting case study on beverage deliveries in the centre of London. The object of the study was to measure the financial and environmental impact of certain restrictions determined by customers (delivery windows and nominated days) or resulting from traffic parking regulations. The authors simulated several scenarios to show that the lower the restrictions, the greater the financial and environmental advantages. The study also revealed the possibility of changing urban supply chains through the involvement of actors operating both within the chain but also externally.

In “Simulation of goods delivery process”, Jean-Marie Boussier, Tatiana Cucu, Luminita Ion and Dominique Breuil (EIGSI) presented an agent technology-based simulation tool benefiting local urban transportation authorities. The purpose of this simulation is to optimise the sharing of city centre street parking places between passenger vehicles and commercial goods delivery vans. The results revealed different interaction possibilities for transportation users along with environmental impacts.

Jacques Colin, Dominique EstampeGuest Editors

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