Applying a lean approach to identify waste in motor carrier operations
Journal article, 2013

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a waste framework for motor carrier operations by adapting the classical 7 waste framework, and furthermore, to validate it by collecting empirical data from several motor carrier operators. Design/methodology/approach – The chosen approach includes three steps, starting with analyzing qualitative data from a literature review and an interview study. The interviewees were experts from carrier operations, the lean field, carrier technology providers and carrier service buyers. The findings were validated with qualitative and quantitative studies at five motor carrier operators. Findings – The finding of this paper is a waste framework adapted to motor carrier operations that has been based on the classical 7 waste framework. This provides a structured framework of inefficiencies found in motor carrier operations. Originality/value – Previous literature is scarce on both holistic approaches to describing waste in carrier operations and in-depth studies of day-to-day transport operations. It is also a novel approach to use a waste framework for transport operations.

Lean production


Motor carrier

Transport operations

Transport management

Transport efficiency

7 wastes


Henrik Sternberg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Gunnar Stefansson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

1741-0401 (ISSN)

Vol. 62 1 47-65

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Business Administration

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