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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2022

Nils-Ole Hohenstein

The enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic showcases the key role of supply chain risk management (SCRM) in achieving and maintaining business performance…

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Abstract

Purpose

The enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic showcases the key role of supply chain risk management (SCRM) in achieving and maintaining business performance, competitiveness and survival in the “new normal”. The purpose of this paper is to explore what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and may yet have on supply chains (SCs), which SCRM approaches have proved successful and how logistics service providers (LSPs) have applied the knowledge they have gained to improve their SCRM practices and resilience so as to prepare better for the next major disruption.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper combines an extensive literature review with a multiple-case study of 10 internationally operating LSPs and how they have handled the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. To bridge the research-practice gap, this study draws on the dynamic-capabilities view and provide insights that are valuable to both academia and practice.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence on the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SCs, which has posed several challenges to LSPs. The study identifies eight factors that are critical to the adaptive capabilities of LSPs and, therefore, to their resilience in extreme conditions. The findings of this study show that these factors determine whether an SCRM system is robust and agile enough to allow an LSP to anticipate potential disruption and to respond fast enough when disruption occurs. Specifically, this study finds that robustness and agility demonstrably strengthen business performance, while learning from experience proves key to reconfiguring an SCRM design in response to acute disruption.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to provide rich, empirical and practically applicable insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business in relation to SCRM. These novel insights offer inspiring opportunities for further research.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Yulong Liu, Henry F.L. Chung and Lili Mi

Drawing on institution embeddedness and the resource-based view, the authors develop a theoretical framework and empirically examine how intra-national innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on institution embeddedness and the resource-based view, the authors develop a theoretical framework and empirically examine how intra-national innovation ecosystems and environmental institutions impact logistics service providers' (LSPs) technological innovation (TI) and green practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors test the theoretical framework based on survey data of 328 Chinese LSPs. Archival datasets complement the survey data.

Findings

The research reveals that intra-national institutional forces of formal and informal environment-related institutions can mitigate LSPs' reliance on their firm-specific advantages when engaging in TI and green practices. Results from a three-way interaction indicate that intra-national innovation ecosystems positively moderate the effects of environmental institutions.

Research limitations/implications

The research has three critical implications. First, the study reveals the contingency role of intra-national environment-related institutions and innovation ecosystems in shaping green logistics. Second, the study finds new results about the roles of informal environmental institutions. Finally, intra-national innovation ecosystems can override environmental institutions in influencing the green practices of LSPs.

Originality/value

Taking a unique angle of institution embeddedness coupled with the resource-based view, the authors examined how intra-national ecosystems and environmental institutions impact LSPs' TI and green practices.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2022

Dhanavanth Reddy Maditati, Sebastian Kummer, Ziaul Haque Munim and Hans-Joachim Schramm

According to the logistics performance index, emerging countries such as India are lagging behind developed countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH…

Abstract

Purpose

According to the logistics performance index, emerging countries such as India are lagging behind developed countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH region). The purpose of this study is to compare and understand the differences in logistics outsourcing outlook in the two regions by considering both manufacturing firms (M-firms) and logistics service providers’ (LSPs) perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey targeting both LSPs and M-firms in DACH and India is conducted. A total of 96 responses were analyzed by using the chi-square test to investigate the differences and alignments in outsourcing motivation, relationship and governance between firms within and across regions.

Findings

M-firms in India bear strategic motivations behind outsourcing and those in DACH incline towards costs. LSPs in both regions align with the motivations of M-firms. M-firms in India rely more on LSPs by transferring the ownership of outsourced tasks, as compared to DACH. Both M-firms and LSPs in DACH claim a high level of ownership. However, firms in DACH and India do not differ significantly in terms of outsourcing engagements they seek.

Research limitations/implications

The findings may only be generalized to large firms in India and DACH.

Practical implications

The findings of this study help managers enhance their understanding of the differences between M-firms and LSPs, and also across countries. LSPs in DACH, if they wish to operate successfully in India, will have to adapt to the M-firms strategic motivations and offer higher dependency.

Originality/value

This study is novel, as it investigates differences between India and DACH countries while also including both manufacturers’ and logistics service providers’ perspectives.

Details

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5364

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Lorenzo Bruno Prataviera, Alessandro Creazza, Fabrizio Dallari and Marco Melacini

Collaborative solutions are increasingly being proposed to generate value in supply chains. Concurrently, firms have progressively outsourced logistics operations to…

Abstract

Purpose

Collaborative solutions are increasingly being proposed to generate value in supply chains. Concurrently, firms have progressively outsourced logistics operations to logistics service providers (LSPs). However, many questions remain unsolved regarding the role played by LSPs in supporting supply chain collaboration (SCC) in triadic rather than dyadic contexts. This study aims to explore the relational mechanisms that LSPs can leverage to foster value creation through collaboration, elaborating on an existing theory about SCC by focussing on logistics triads.

Design/methodology/approach

By leveraging the view of the network theory, a multiple case study approach was adopted. Seven cases having logistics triads as units of analysis were identified and analysed within the Italian grocery supply chain, allowing for empirical investigation with a middle-range approach to extend the previous theory.

Findings

LSPs are pivotal actors that can actively promote SCC. LSPs can exploit large volumes and asset availability to increase efficiency while improving logistics flexibility and developing regular and trustworthy relationships with the other triad members. Building upon their logistics capabilities and the relational mechanisms in place, LSPs can help manufacturers collaborate with retailers by improving mutual trust and communication, acting as trust builders or trust conductors within the triad.

Originality/value

The study explores the role of LSPs in logistics triads, extending the previous literature. It highlights that LSPs facilitate not only supply and demand integration but also relational integration between firms. Trust emerges as a fundamental building block for SCC, as LSPs can look beyond economic benefits to foster partnerships that empower the co-development of original collaborative solutions.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Jessica Wehner, Naghmeh Taghavi Nejad Deilami, Ceren Altuntas Vural and Árni Halldórsson

This paper discusses logistics service providers' (LSPs’) energy efficiency initiatives for sustainable development, both from an evolutionary perspective and based on a…

1352

Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses logistics service providers' (LSPs’) energy efficiency initiatives for sustainable development, both from an evolutionary perspective and based on a framework consisting of actions, processes (i.e. at the operations interface) and services (i.e. at the customer interface).

Design/methodology/approach

Following a qualitative research design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with sustainability managers at LSPs and the data were analysed via inductive coding. Based on the results and the literature, the authors developed a maturity model for LSPs' transitions to environmental sustainability.

Findings

LSPs' sustainable development occurs via operational processes, services at the customer interface, and actions that support those processes and services. Energy efficiency efforts are characterised by process depth that helps LSPs to align with their customers' energy efficiency improvement processes. While services related to energy efficiency connect LSPs and their customers, actions in support vary depending on the logistics activities in which LSPs participate.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to test and verify the maturity model and to clarify the interdependency of its three dimensions.

Practical implications

By categorising energy efficiency initiatives and proposing a maturity model for LSPs' sustainable development via energy efficiency, the authors have developed a tool for logistics actors to assess their progress towards improved sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by providing a three-pillar framework to understand the sustainability transitions of LSPs through energy efficiency. Developing a maturity model using this framework also contributes to the literature with an approach to assess sustainability advancement in the logistics industry.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

David M. Herold, Katarzyna Nowicka, Aneta Pluta-Zaremba and Sebastian Kummer

The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into the reactions and lessons learned with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of how logistics service…

5969

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into the reactions and lessons learned with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of how logistics service providers (LSPs) managed to maintain supply chains resilience and what focus areas have been changed to keep operations functional and uphold financial stability.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on data-gathering techniques in interpretive research this study collected primary data via semi-structured interviews, interviewing informants from selected LSPs that operate on a global scale.

Findings

The results show that LSPs have built their reactions and actions to the COVID-19 outbreak around five main themes: “create revenue streams,” “enhance operational transport flexibility,” “enforce digitalization and data management,” “optimize logistics infrastructure” and “optimize personnel capacity.” These pillars build the foundation to LSP resilience that enables supply chains to stay resilient during an external shock of high impact and low probability.

Originality/value

The results of this study provide insights into how LSPs have managed the downsides and found innovative ways to overcome operational and financial challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak. As one of the first studies that specially focuses on the role of LSPs during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study categorizes the LSPs’ reactions and provides a “lessons learned” framework from a managerial perspective. From a theoretical perspective, this paper discusses the strategic role of LSPs in supply chain management and thereby extends current supply chain literature with a focus on LSP resilience.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Viktor Hugo Elliot, Christiaan De Goeij, Luca Mattia Gelsomino and Johan Woxenius

Logistics service providers (LSPs) have unique resources and capabilities that position them to deliver supply chain finance (SCF) solutions. The study aims to discuss and…

Abstract

Purpose

Logistics service providers (LSPs) have unique resources and capabilities that position them to deliver supply chain finance (SCF) solutions. The study aims to discuss and illustrate the necessary resources and process of value creation and capture of LSPs, potentially offering SCF solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on a theoretical framework, combining a resource-based view (RBV) with the literature on SCF, the authors apply an abductive case study methodology, including 11 interviews with representatives from four LSPs.

Findings

The main findings are as follow: (1) although an LSP has sufficient resources for value-added SCF solutions, it may not capture enough value to motivate realising them; (2) an LSP considering offering SCF should account for the interaction between its resources and cargo transit times, risk and regulatory restrictions and (3) future studies should distinguish between financing the logistics services and the moved products.

Research limitations/implications

The authors contribute to the growing field of SCF research by analysing motives and barriers for LSPs to offer SCF service to their customers. Because none of our case companies decided to move beyond experimentation further research is needed on the resources and capabilities needed for LSPs to successfully venture into SCF.

Practical implications

The study provides LSPs with clear indications of the difficulties involved when contemplating a move into SCF solutions and discusses the potential value of offering such services.

Originality/value

Despite evidence of LSPs engaging in SCF in various industries, academic contributions do not go beyond operational conditions or quantification of benefits. The authors add evidence on how LSPs are currently evaluating the prominence of adding SCF to their value offerings, including a new perspective on resources, value generation and capture mechanisms.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 50 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Amer Jazairy, Robin von Haartman and Maria Björklund

The green logistics literature remains undecided on how collaboration between shippers (i.e. logistics buyers) and logistics service providers (LSPs) may facilitate green…

5528

Abstract

Purpose

The green logistics literature remains undecided on how collaboration between shippers (i.e. logistics buyers) and logistics service providers (LSPs) may facilitate green logistics practices (GLPs). This paper identifies two types of collaboration mechanisms, relation specific and knowledge sharing, to systematically examine their influence on facilitating the different types of GLPs – as seen by shippers versus LSPs.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey responses of 169 shippers and 162 LSPs in Sweden were collected and analysed using exploratory- and confirmatory factor analysis, followed by multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The findings reveal that neither of the actors consistently favour a certain type of collaboration mechanisms for facilitating all types of GLPs. Although it was found that both actors share the same view on the role of collaboration mechanisms for some GLPs, their views took contrasting forms for others.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the green logistics literature by incorporating a trilateral distinction to present collaboration recommendations for GLPs, based on (1) the collaboration mechanism at play, (2) the actor's perspective and (3) the GLP in question.

Practical implications

Insights are offered to managers at shipper/LSP firms to apply the right (“fit for purpose”) collaboration mechanisms in their relationships with their logistics partners with respect to the desired GLPs.

Originality/value

This is one of the first large-scale studies to systematically reveal in what way collaboration can facilitate the different types of GLPs.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Maria Huge-Brodin, Edward Sweeney and Pietro Evangelista

Various suggested paths for greening logistics and supply chains often address the specific perspectives of single supply chain actors. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Various suggested paths for greening logistics and supply chains often address the specific perspectives of single supply chain actors. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper understanding of the alignment between logistics service providers (LSPs) and shippers in the context of adopting more environmentally sustainable logistics practices.

Design/methodology/approach

With a case study approach, a dual perspective is taken in which both LSPs and shippers were researched. The cases comprise eight LSPs and six shipper companies in Sweden, Italy and Ireland. Information was first analysed in relation to levels of environmental awareness, customer requirements and provider offerings and critical success factors (CSFs) and inhibitors. In a second step, the findings were analysed using stakeholder theory.

Findings

LSPs demonstrate higher ambition levels and more concrete offerings compared to shippers' requirements for green logistics services. Paradoxically, customers are an important CSF and also an inhibitor for both LSPs and shippers. Both LSPs and shippers perceive financial factors and senior management priorities as important CSFs. The application of stakeholder theory helps to illuminate the importance of the many secondary stakeholders vs that of one or a relatively small number of primary stakeholders.

Originality/value

The three-dimensional analysis of environmental alignment between LSPs and shippers reinforces existing knowledge and provides new insights. A novel use of stakeholder theory in a supply chain context underlines its usefulness in research of this kind.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Lorenzo Bruno Prataviera, Elena Tappia, Sara Perotti and Alessandro Perego

Today logistics is an ever-growing multi-billion-dollar business, and logistics operations have been increasingly outsourced to specialised players. The intended aim of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Today logistics is an ever-growing multi-billion-dollar business, and logistics operations have been increasingly outsourced to specialised players. The intended aim of this paper is to offer a multi-method approach for estimating the size of the national logistics outsourcing market by building upon financial-reporting data of logistics service providers (LSPs).

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach is structured into four steps, clustered around two main stages: framework setting and data collection, and processing. A combination of methods is offered, including a review of academic literature and secondary sources, focus groups, interviews and data extractions from national databases.

Findings

The proposed approach is meant to be replicable in different countries, thus allowing for comparison amongst markets. With reference to a specific country and year, the following outputs are provided: market size in terms of the number of players and generated turnover – total and split by LSPs type – and market concentration measures. A practical application of the proposed approach to a specific context, i.e. Italy is finally offered.

Originality/value

The study focusses on the logistics outsourcing market and considers financial-reporting data from LSPs, avoiding the need for introducing assumptions about the value of logistics operations for shippers. The proposed approach can contribute to strengthening the accuracy of LSPs' market analyses, and supporting the development of national policies by local governments. The adoption of multiple methods brings rigour and reliability to the study. Finally, high flexibility is ensured, as the method may be adaptable over time to cope with future changes in the logistics landscape.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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