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Towards CO2 efficient centralised distribution
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation treats a topic that has received increasing attention as of late, namely that of the environment and in particular increasing levels of CO2 emissions caused by transport. The aim of the dissertation is to explain how a shipper, through various measures, can reduce transport-related CO2 emissions when centralising a distribution system and how this affects the provision of cost efficient customer service. Earlier research has stated that this type of structural change is considered unfavourable from an environmental viewpoint as it increases the amount of transport work generated by the system and thereby transport-related CO2 emissions. The argument that is made in this dissertation, however, is that transport work is only one aspect to consider when evaluating how transport-related CO2 emissions are affected by this type of structural change. The reason for this being that a change in structure and management of the same can enable a shipper to make other changes within the distribution system that can prove beneficial from an environmental perspective as they decrease the amount of CO2 emissions per tonne kilometre.

Theoretically, the dissertation has its foundation in two different areas in logistics research. The first area concerns logistics and the environment, where the frame of reference examines measures discussed in previous research with reference to how a shipper can reduce CO2 emissions related to transport. The second area treated in the frame of reference concerns how costs and service are affected by the structural change of centralising a distribution system and how this relates to the measures discussed in the first part of the framework.

From a methodological viewpoint, the dissertation is based on case studies. These are presented in four appended manuscripts (a licentiate thesis and three papers), where the results of these studies are used as empirical input for the synthesising analysis that is led in the dissertation.

A key deliverable from the research presented in this dissertation is a classification of measures that increase transport-related CO2 emissions and measures that decrease transport-related CO2 emissions when a distribution system is centralised. By presenting this classification, the dissertation extends previous research on the environmental impact of various logistics strategies, where centralised distribution is an example of such a strategy. With regards to this classification, it is concluded that a shipper that seeks to centralise its distribution system in a more CO2 efficient manner will aim to identify a structural configuration that minimises the increase in transport work. This is imperative as there is a close link between transport work and CO2 emissions. Hence, a CO2 efficient centralised distribution system will include more central warehouses than that advocated by earlier research on centralised distribution. This in turn implies that a shipper may not reach the full potential in economies of scale as advocated in earlier research. However, such a configuration will simultaneously lead to less transport work, whereby a shipper will be able to offset the increase in transport work by employing measures that decrease the amount of transport-related CO2 emissions per amount of transport work. The results also indicate that in addition to reducing transport-related CO2 emissions, some of these measures come with a cost incentive. By employing such measures, a shipper can come to compensate for the potential loss in economies of scale caused by employing a structural configuration that seeks to minimise the increase in transport work rather than to maximise economies of scale. By this means, the dissertation contributes to research on centralised distribution by considering how a reduction in transport-related CO2 emissions is interrelated with the provision of cost efficient customer service.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 136 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1220
Keyword [en]
CO2 emissions, Centralised distribution, Structural change, Shipper, Transport, Trade-off, Interrelationship
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15399ISBN: 978-91-7393-772-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-15399DiVA: diva2:114114
Public defence
2008-11-27, ACAS, hus A, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-06 Created: 2008-11-06 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Centralisation of Distribution Systems and its Environmental Effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Centralisation of Distribution Systems and its Environmental Effects
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many believe that the current application of modern logistics solutions in general and centralisation of distribution systems in particular is damaging from an environmental perspective. The reason for this claim is that when a distribution system is centralised, products need to be shipped over greater distances. This causes an increase in transport work, which in turn is believed to cause an increase in emissions. Further, the decision to centralise distribution can be characterised as a structural decision and earlier research has helped illustrate how such decisions have greater impact on the overall performance of a distribution system than decisions taken at subsequent levels (tactical and operative). The reason for this is that structural decisions help create new opportunities to make other logistical decisions that are beneficial for the performance of a distribution system, as measured in terms of costs and service.

It is also acknowledged that there is a lack of research illustrating the actual environmental effects of centralisation. This area is the theme of this thesis and the overall purpose is to describe and analyse how centralisation of a distribution system can affect the environment. This purpose has been divided into two research questions, where the first one reads:

- How does physical centralisation of a distribution system influence the environment?

This question aims at investigating what effect centralisation has on the amount of emissions that are caused by transport in a distribution system. One of the main advantages with a centralised distribution system is that emergency deliveries are expected to decrease. This type of transport is often performed by airfreight, which is a mode of transport that is regarded to cause the largest amount of environmental stress among the four most commonly used transport modes. The argument that is made is that even though centralisation causes an increase in transport work, this must not necessarily mean that emissions increase.

As indicated above, earlier studies on structural changes in distribution systems have shown that this type of decision creates new opportunities to make other decisions that are beneficial for the performance of a distribution system, albeit in terms of costs and service. The aim of the second research question is consequently to study this issue, but from an environmental perspective. This question therefore reads:

- How do structural decisions in logistics create new opportunities to improve on the environmental performance of a distribution system?

The results of the study show that it is not sufficient to only consider transport work and emergency deliveries when the environmental effect of a centralisation is to be evaluated. It has also been concluded that centralisation creates an opportunity to make improvements within the distribution system that can prove beneficial from an environmental perspective. In summary, three characteristics besides transport work and emergency deliveries were identified as being of importance when considering the environmental effects of a centralisation. These included centralised flow, modal change, and bargaining power.

This model (see full pdf) does not aim to include all characteristics that can be relevant in an environmental evaluation of a centralisation, but rather those that have been found significant in this study. However, the model helps illustrate that there are many aspects that need to be considered in such an evaluation and that depending on the characteristics of the distribution system at hand the results can vary quite extensively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen, 2005. 168 p.
Series
Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 91Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1175
Keyword
Business and economics, Logistics management, Centralisation of distribution systems, Green logistics, Environment, Structural changes, Ekonomi
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2990 (URN)LiU-Tek-Lic 2005:30 (Local ID)91-85299-71-5 (ISBN)LiU-Tek-Lic 2005:30 (Archive number)LiU-Tek-Lic 2005:30 (OAI)
Presentation
2005-05-31, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-07-19 Created: 2005-07-19 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved
2. Centralised distribution systems and the environment: how increased transport work can decrease the environmental impact of logistics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Centralised distribution systems and the environment: how increased transport work can decrease the environmental impact of logistics
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Logistics, ISSN 1367-5567, E-ISSN 1469-848X, Vol. 11, no 3, 229-245 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions stemming from transport within a distribution system are generally acknowledged to increase as the system is centralised, since transport work is increased owing to such a change. At the same time, this type of centralisation creates new opportunities to make changes in the system that are not viable in a decentralised distribution system; changes that can decrease CO2 emissions at the same time as the provision of cost-efficient customer service is not affected negatively. Based on an extensive literature review as well as case studies, the paper discusses and illustrates the circumstances under which it is possible to achieve such simultaneous improvements in the performance of a distribution system. Paramount in achieving concurrent positive results in terms of cost, service, and environmental impact is an understanding of what drives and affects the performance of the system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2008
Keyword
Logistics, distribution system, centralisation, environmental impact, CO2 emissions, System characteristics
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15388 (URN)10.1080/13675560701628919 (DOI)000271445800004 ()
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. A shipper perspective on intermodal transport: Exploring the role of rail-truck intermodal transport in three shippers’ logistics systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A shipper perspective on intermodal transport: Exploring the role of rail-truck intermodal transport in three shippers’ logistics systems
2008 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the public debate on companies’ impact on the environment, the negative impact of transport is often put forward as an area in which companies need to find new solutions in order to decrease the amount of emissions incurred by transport. One possible way of achieving such a shift is through intermodal transport, but even though such solutions are often advocated they are not employed that extensively in industry. One reason for this could be the fact that decisions influencing logistics and transport are made by multiple stakeholders with diverging perspectives and decision scopes. For instance, whereas public authorities make decisions with respect to e.g. a country’s transport policy decisions regarding logistics from a company perspective are made with reference to the overall goal of achieving cost efficient customer service.

The paper has an explorative approach and presents empirical studies of three companies that have employed or are about to employ an intermodal transport solution that combines rail and truck transport. The purpose is to illustrate how these companies have incorporated intermodal transport into their logistics systems and what experiences they have from using this type of transport solution. The findings show that transport quality is an issue, but this is weighed against the cost advantage that this transport solution provides. Also, the companies are very conscious with regards to for what part of their respective logistics systems they can use intermodal transport without jeopardising the overall performance of the system. It is the perception of inferior quality that keeps these companies from transferring more transport tonnage from truck to a rail-truck combination. If intermodal transport is to be used by shippers more extensively than current practice reveals then there is a need to congregate the objectives of the multiple stakeholders discussed above.

Publisher
24 p.
Series
IMIE Working Paper, ISSN 1403-4638 ; 2
Series
IMIE Working paper series
Keyword
Logistics systems, Intermodal transport, Shipper perspective, Explorative case study
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15390 (URN)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2010-02-19Bibliographically approved
4. Exploring Supply Chain Captaincy: Why power matters in supply chain collaboration – The case of Volvo Parts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Supply Chain Captaincy: Why power matters in supply chain collaboration – The case of Volvo Parts
2006 (English)In: Supply Chain Practice, ISSN 1466-0091, Vol. 8, no 2, 18-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The term channel captain has been introduced and discussed briefly in the SCM literature from time to time and some authors even claim that a channel captain is a prerequisite for the realisation of collaborative supply chain initiatives. However, the topic has not been addressed in great detail. One reason for this could be the absence of a more rigorous incorporation of power literature in SCM articles. The purpose of this paper is to act as a catalyst in the discussion on channel captaincy in the SCM literature. The paper is of an explorative character and a case study is presented, illustrating how Volvo Parts in its role as a channel captain has used the sources of power available in order to make its supply chain more efficient. The paper helps illustrate that power issues are relevant in a supply chain setting and that power can serve as a useful framework in order to get a deeper insight into supply chain relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cranfield: Ingenta Content, 2006
Keyword
Supply Chain, Captaincy, Power, Automotive industry
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15391 (URN)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2012-01-20

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