Environmental Sustainability in the Follow-Up and Evaluation Stage of Logistics Services Purchasing: Perspectives from UK Shippers and 3PLs

Witold Bahr, Edward Sweeney

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Abstract

The purpose of the research described in this paper is to investigate the role played by the green agenda and sustainability in the follow-up and evaluation stage of the purchasing of logistics services. This stage is relatively under-explored in the extant academic literature. However, there is some evidence of a divergence between the perspectives of shippers and forwarders in this area. In this context, therefore, two carefully selected groups of UK-based supply chain management professionals—from shippers (i.e., manufacturers and retailers) and third-party logistics (3PLs)—were investigated using semi-structured interviews. The interviews were based on a data collection guide informed by the authors’ three overall research objectives. Data from the interviews were analysed using a combination of content analysis and grounded analysis. The findings suggest that, while shippers and 3PLs recognise a positive link between cost savings and the development of green initiatives, there is considerable room for improvement in this area in order to reorient the focus of the follow-up and evaluation stage from price and service levels towards sustainability. The authors’ exploratory research leads to the identification of a number of potentially fruitful areas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2460
JournalSustainability
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • 3PL
  • Green logistics
  • Logistics services
  • Sustainability

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