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Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)Logforum. 2012. 8(2), article 7, 157-165;


Stef Weijers, Hans-Heinrich Glöckner, Reinder Pieters

HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands


Background: Logistic Service Providers main concern was to ensure reliability for a low price (Christopher, 2005). Dutch Logistic Service Providers still have these two aspects at the top of their list, but also have to take in a new aspect: sustainability. 88% Of the investigated Logistic Service Providers have included sustainability in the company's goals. These Logistic Service Providers have developed different strategies to achieve a higher level of sustainability. This paper presents the results of a study into what Logistic Service Providers say what they are doing, or intend to do, to improve sustainability for their transport services. In this way insight is given in the attitude of Dutch Logistic Service Providers towards sustainability and how they intend to translate this into business practise: internal solutions or new methods incorporating external partners.

Methods: Various methods of the investigations were used, among which the analysis of the statements about the sustainabilityon the websites of various companies as well as the questionnaire per Internet. The research covered 50 largest logistics companies operating in the Netherlands and 60 companies that competed for the award "Lean and Green" advertised in the Netherlands. In addition, the Internet survey was answered by 41 companies that belong to the network of our university.

Results: The investigation has shown that sustainability is handled by the logistics company as an integral part of the corporate strategy. In contrast, shippers depend in the choice of logistics services primarily on such classical aspects as the reliability or the price and the sustainability play a minor role.

Conclusions: Trying to find methods to improve the sustainability, Dutch logistics service providers, in the first place, look for solutions that increase the efficiency and therefore the cost reduction potential. Solutions, which require the involvement of clients, were less often implemented, although there is a willingness of the cooperation among other logistics service providers, to reduce the transport kilometers. There is very little willingness on the side of logistics service providers to involve clients into their environmental programs. Further researches on this topic are planned. 

Keywords: Logistic service providers, sustainability, strategy
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For citation:

MLA Weijers, Stef, et al. "Logistic service providers and sustainable physical distribution." Logforum 8.2 (2012): 7.
APA Stef Weijers, Hans-Heinrich Glöckner, Reinder Pieters (2012). Logistic service providers and sustainable physical distribution. Logforum 8 (2), 7.
ISO 690 WEIJERS, Stef, GLæCKNER, Hans-Heinrich, PIETERS, Reinder. Logistic service providers and sustainable physical distribution. Logforum, 2012, 8.2: 7.