Environmental considerations and trade-offs in purchasing of transportation services
Journal article, 2014
Many companies want to reduce the environmental impact of their transports, especially CO2 emissions. This paper examines the importance large shippers attribute to environmental aspects when purchasing freight transport services and the trade-off with other aspects, specifically how these have changed over the last decade. The starting point is a proposed theoretical model for the marketing of environmental advantages in transportation services. Results from two studies are analyzed, including data from two telephone-initiated surveys in 2003 and 2012 with regard to the purchasing of freight transportation services among large shippers in manufacturing and wholesale companies in Sweden. The response rates were high (64% in 2003 and 30% in 2012) and represent a solid number of responses (in 2003, n = 406 and in 2012, n = 175). The results show that the attributed importance to environmental aspects has been stable over time. Basic service aspects of transportation services related to the reliability and transport quality were the top priorities for logistics managers when selecting transport providers, in addition to geographic coverage and a low price. Price is however most important when selecting transport solutions. Transport providers need to know shippers' preferences when considering marketing of environmentally preferable transport services.