Greening Logistics : Implementation of Green Logistics Practices Through Interaction

Abstract: The greening of our logistics systems has become a concern for many more than just those that operate and find themselves within supply chains. One of the organizations that accounts for a large share of negative environmental impact is the logistics service providers (LSPs), often responsible for the management and operation of transports. However, LSPs cannot be held solely accountable, as their services are procured from shippers in need of shipping goods to their customers. Additionally, many shippers affect the environmental performance of the logistics systems, both with their own operations and what they request from LSPs but also their promises to customers. By interacting with each other, organizations can share resources, information, and knowledge, as these items are required for implementing green logistics practices (GLPs). With additional resources, information, and knowledge, LSPs can implement GLPs successfully, without needing to procure or acquire resources, information, or knowledge, elsewhere. Therefore, the purpose of this licentiate thesis is to explore how supply chain interaction can facilitate logistics service providers to implement green logistics practices.The research in this thesis is both explorative and descriptive. The purpose is explorative, but to fulfill the purpose, GLPs must be described to include the need for interaction. Building on the description of GLPs is the exploration of forms of interactions that occur when implementing GLPs. Lastly, the interactions are explored throughout the implementation process to investigate how the interactions are characterized in the different phases that constitute the implementation process. Throughout the analysis and discussion, several important organizations for the LSP to interact with are identified; this includes shippers, technology providers, as well as actors within the LSPs. Different forms of interaction, which includes both internal and external interaction with different organizations and actors, are suggested in order for LSPs to acquire the information, resources, and knowledge necessary to implement GLPs. Additionally, the forms of interactions between organizations and actors changed with the implementation process, which suggests that different phases characterize both the interactions that occur and the need for interaction. Finally, it is proposed that supply chain interaction facilitates the LSPs to implement GLPs, by allowing the LSP to acquire information, knowledge, and resources through communication, trust, and commitment with other organizations or actors.The main contribution of this licentiate thesis to research and the green logistics literature is the identification of the need to have various forms of interaction with different organizations and actors when implementing GLPs. This illustrates that other organizations than the shipper can have information, resources, or knowledge that can facilitate LSPs to implement GLPs, instead of the LSP acquiring similar information, resources, or knowledge elsewhere and by themselves. Additionally, as interaction is a "two-way street", it allows access to valuable items and requires items offered in exchange for those items. Therefore, it is suggested to have various forms of external interaction with other organizations or internal interaction with actors within the same organizations. Thus, the interactions become less costly to withhold, and as the purpose of the interaction is to mitigate the cost of implementing GLPs, the finalized cost of implementing GLPs becomes lower. The contribution to practice instead helps organizations to highlight that interaction with key organizations can facilitate the implantation of GLPs and thus facilitate the much-required greening of our logistics systems.

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