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

Witold Bahr, Edward Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Keywords

  • 3PL
  • Green logistics
  • Logistics services
  • Sustainability

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