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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Fredrik Eng-Larsson and Andreas Norrman

The purpose of this paper is to investigate contracts of the intermodal transport market and the incentives they create for a modal shift and thus the financial and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate contracts of the intermodal transport market and the incentives they create for a modal shift and thus the financial and environmental efficiency of freight transport.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used a mixed-methods approach where qualitative case interviews and quantitative modeling was combined. Two cases of contractual relationships between a service provider and its intermodal train operator on a specific lane were investigated. The case findings were then consolidated and used as input for a model of the contractual relation. Findings were sought through an extensive numerical study.

Findings

The cases reported that intermodal rail operators had a strong production focus, transferring the capacity risk (i.e. the risk of unused capacity) to the service provider, which the service providers argued limited the shift from truck to intermodal transportation. The paper shows that, due to the market structure, it is rational for the operator to transfer the capacity risk but not the profit. Consequently, a modal shift is only likely to occur when there is strong shipper pressure or low capacity risk. We present a risk-sharing contract that could release this dead lock.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions are modeling outcomes subject to assumptions based on the cases. For further validation, large-scale quantitative studies are necessary.

Practical implications

The paper shows that a three-part tariff in which the capacity risk is shared may lead to increased modal shift and hence assumed improved environmental performance.

Social implications

Instead of arguing for operators to be more customer-focussed, policy makers and other stakeholders may have more to gain by having both actors being more cooperation focussed.

Originality/value

The paper is the first attempt to quantify how the contractual relations on the freight transport market affect the modal mix and thus the financial and environmental efficiency of freight transport.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 44 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Lisa Hansson and Frode Longva

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how accountability is expressed in contractual arrangements found in network governance structures that provide public transport

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how accountability is expressed in contractual arrangements found in network governance structures that provide public transport services and to raise discussion of how to understand contracting accountability in network governance contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is rooted in two research traditions: contracting studies and studies of accountability in government/governance contexts. Content analysis is used in examining contracts from two cases. These contracts are of five types: contracts between public organizations, contracts within a public organization, contracts between public organizations and private firms, and contracts between political parties within a municipality and contracts within a network. Various contracting approaches are identified within these types.

Findings

The paper concludes that the contracts' functions differ between the cases. The first case did not have an overall contract that defined the network, relying on different two-party contracts instead. In the other case, an incentive-based contract was used to link the organizations. From an accountability perspective, the latter contracting structure clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the actors and increases the possibility of accountability to citizens.

Originality/value

The paper brings new insights to the field of contracting and accountability by focusing on the role of contracts in network governance structures, taking account of various accountability relationships. It also contributes new theoretical categories usable when analysing contracting accountability in a network context.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 21 June 2005

John Preston

Abstract

Details

Handbook of Transport Strategy, Policy and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-0804-4115-3

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Anu Bask and Mervi Rajahonka

Transport is the European Union (EU) sector that produces the second highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. In its attempts to promote the environmentally sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

Transport is the European Union (EU) sector that produces the second highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. In its attempts to promote the environmentally sustainable development of transport, the EU has focussed on intermodal transport in particular – but with limited success. It is important to understand how freight transport is selected, which criteria are used and what role environmental sustainability and intermodal transport play in the selection. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the role of environmental sustainability and intermodal transport in transport mode decisions. The authors look at this issue from the perspective of logistics service providers (LSPs) and buyers, as they are important stakeholders in guiding this process.

Design/methodology/approach

To gain a holistic view of the current state of research, the authors have conducted a systematic literature review of the role of environmental sustainability and intermodal transport in transport mode decisions. The authors have further examined the findings concerning requests for quotations (RfQs), tenders and transport contracts, as these are also linked to decisions on transport choice.

Findings

The findings from the literature review include the results of descriptive and structured content analysis of the selected articles. They show that the discussion on environmental sustainability and intermodal transport as a sustainable mode, together with the transport mode selection criteria, RfQs/tenders and transport contracts, is still a rather new and emerging topic in the literature. The main focus related to the selection of transport mode has been on utility and cost efficiency, and only recently have issues such as environmental sustainability and intermodal transport started to gain greater attention. The findings also indicate that the theoretical lenses most typically used have been preference models and total cost theories, although the theoretical base has recently become more diversified.

Research limitations/implications

There is still a need to extend the theoretical and methodological base, which could then lead to innovative theory building and testing. Such diverse application of methodologies will help in understanding how environmental sustainability can be better linked to mode choice decisions.

Practical implications

The findings will be of interest to policy makers and companies opting for environmentally sustainable transport solutions.

Social implications

If the EU, shippers and LSPs take a more active stance in promoting environmentally sustainable transformation models, this will have long-lasting societal impacts.

Originality/value

It seems that this systematic literature review of the topic is one of the first such attempts in the current body of literature.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 47 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1989

John Fernie

Distribution has been a major element of retailers′ marketingstrategy in recent years as companies strive to control costs but at thesame time seek competitive advantage…

Abstract

Distribution has been a major element of retailers′ marketing strategy in recent years as companies strive to control costs but at the same time seek competitive advantage through improving service to stores and gaining greater control of stock in the supply chain. In an interview survey of distribution directors from major multiple groups, all companies were reviewing their distribution strategy and many had made major changes to their distribution system. Centralisation of stock in strategically located RDCs and the use of third party contractors were main features of retail companies′ strategy. Contractors were much more aggressive in marketing their services to retailers than hitherto. This is partly related to the competitive and turbulent nature of the industry. In a survey of marketing directors/managers of distribution companies, it was clear that firms were trying to raise their profile in the market as they “went public” and/or because they were moving into new industry sectors away from their “core” specialist areas.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0269-8218

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Managing Urban Mobility Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85-724611-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2013

Helene Lidestam

To facilitate the choice of the winning bid in the public procurement of bus transports in Sweden and to make sure that the winning bid has the qualities that are…

Abstract

Purpose

To facilitate the choice of the winning bid in the public procurement of bus transports in Sweden and to make sure that the winning bid has the qualities that are requested, the placed demands are very detailed. On the other hand, the detailed demands will lead to limitations and could force the operator to use less environmentally friendly alternatives. The purpose of this paper is to identify factors regarding the buses and their properties that are commonly used in the public procurement process and analyze their level of details.

Design/methodology/approach

The method is to collect and study foundations from the process of public procurement of bus transport for three years in Sweden.

Findings

The result shows the most common and relevant aspects regarding the buses and their properties that have been requested and taken into consideration when creating the final contracts. Most of the demands regarding the factors were also described in very great detail.

Research limitations/implications

The study is done with data from three years. The demands have only been classified on two levels: detailed and non‐detailed.

Practical implications

The results enlighten the amount of demands that are specified in the foundations for public procurement of bus transports. While these demands make the base for the contracts, they are important for the decision makers in public transports.

Originality/value

The paper shows a general overview of hard and soft demands regarding factors that have been expressed in the foundations for public procurement of bus transports for the previous three years.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Handbook of Transport Strategy, Policy and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-0804-4115-3

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Helene Lidestam and Mats Abrahamsson

The process of choosing the best part in the public procurement of bus transports is easier if the demands of the qualifications are well specified and detailed. On the…

Abstract

Purpose

The process of choosing the best part in the public procurement of bus transports is easier if the demands of the qualifications are well specified and detailed. On the other hand, detailed contracts will lead to limitations and could force the entrepreneurs to use uneconomical, but most of all, less environmentally friendly alternatives. The effects of using less specified contracts in order to achieve more environmentally friendly bus traffic have been tested and evaluated by optimization models. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A mathematical model with binary variables is developed to evaluate the environmental effects of more optimized bus sizes. Computational results from a bus service provider are reported. Different scenarios have been tested in order to evaluate the environmental effects of less detailed contracts.

Findings

The results of the mathematical model indicate that all parts involved in the public procurement process, the public authority, the entrepreneur and the customers, will gain from more flexible and less detailed contracts.

Research limitations/implications

The bus system in this study is limited to data from one region in Sweden. However, a pre‐study indicates that this region is representative with regard to public procurement of bus transports in Sweden as well as in major parts of Europe.

Originality/value

In terms of the total environmental impact from the public transport system, the paper focuses on the importance of creating relevant and less detailed contracts in public procurement. A mathematical model and data from a Swedish bus service provider have been used.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Kostas Selviaridis, Aristides Matopoulos, Leslie Thomas Szamosi and Alexandros Psychogios

The purpose of this paper is to understand how reverse resource exchanges and resource dependencies are managed in the service supply chain (SSC) of returnable transport

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how reverse resource exchanges and resource dependencies are managed in the service supply chain (SSC) of returnable transport packaging (RTP).

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study was conducted in the context of automotive logistics focusing on the RTP SSC. Data were collected through 16 interviews, primarily with managers of a logistics service provider (LSP) and document analysis of contractual agreements with key customers of the packaging service.

Findings

Resource dependencies among actors in the SSC result from the importance of the RTP for the customer’s production processes, the competition among users for RTP and the negative implications of the temporary unavailability of RTP for customers and the LSP (in terms of service performance). Amongst other things, the LSP is dependent on its customers and third-party users (e.g. the customer’s suppliers) for the timely return of package resources. The role of inter-firm integration and collaboration, formal contracts as well as customers’ power and influence over third-party RTP users are stressed as key mechanisms for managing LSP’s resource dependencies.

Research limitations/implications

A resource dependence theory (RDT) lens is used to analyse how reverse resource exchanges and associated resource dependencies in SSCs are managed, thus complementing the existing SSC literature emphasising the bi-directionality of resource flows. The study also extends the recent SSC literature stressing the role of contracting by empirically demonstrating how formal contracts can be mobilised to explicate resource dependencies and to specify, and regulate, reverse exchanges in the SSC.

Practical implications

The research suggests that logistics providers can effectively manage their resource dependencies and regulate reverse exchanges in the SSC by deploying contractual governance mechanisms and leveraging their customers’ influence over third-party RTP users.

Originality/value

The study is novel in its application of RDT, which enhances our understanding of the management of reverse exchanges and resource dependencies in SSCs.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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