Environmental alignment between logistics service providers and shippers – a supply chain perspective

Maria Huge-Brodin*, Edward Sweeney, Pietro Evangelista

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-605
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number3
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2020


  • Buyers
  • Case study analysis
  • Environmental alignment
  • Green logistics
  • LSPs
  • Shippers
  • Stakeholder theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Transportation


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