Environmental practices as offerings and requirements on the logistics market
First online: 22.05.2014
Cite this article as: Martinsen, U. & Huge-Brodin, M. Logist. Res. (2014) 7: 115. doi:10.1007/s12159-014-0115-y
The importance of environmental consideration for companies is mounting. This applies particularly well to logistics service providers (LSPs) who will have a possibility to compete by being greener than their competitors by offering services that include different green practices. As their customers play a vital role with regard to the extent to which LSPs can include environmental practices in their business, the interface between these actors is of interest. The purpose of this article is to describe and explain how environmental practices are reflected in offerings and requirements on the logistics market. A systematic literature review of what has been published on environmental practices as parts of offerings and requirements was complemented by a wider literature review. Empirical data were collected through a home page scan and a case study of four LSP–shipper dyads. With a starting point in stakeholder theory, the different data sets were analysed separately as well as combined, and similarities and differences were discussed. The findings point to differences in the way that LSPs and shippers offer and require environmental practices on their home pages and reasons for this are suggested to be due to their different types of stakeholders. Further, the environmental practices in relationships between LSP and shippers are often more relationship specific than practices on home pages. Based on the combined findings of the data sets, a classification of environmental practices as reflected in offerings and requirements on the logistics market is proposed. The article is mainly based on companies’ practices in Sweden and thereby provides a possibility to extend the research into other countries as well. By taking two perspectives, the findings from this research can have implications both for purchasing and marketing of logistic services. The paper suggests which environmental practices that LSPs and shippers can offer or require in different stages of their business relationships. Contrary to most research within green logistics, this paper takes a business perspective on environmental practices. Further, the dual perspective of LSPs and shippers taken in this paper offers novel insight into how environmental practices can be included at different stages of LSP–shipper relationships.
Logistics service provider Green logistics Offering Environmental practice Stakeholder theory Logistics market