The transport service triad: a key unit of analysis
Journal article, 2019

Purpose
The purpose of the paper is to identify and discuss the transport service triad (TST) as a key unit of analysis to understand the operations and conditions for change in freight transport systems at the micro level, i.e. at the level of analysis where business decisions and change interaction take place.

Design/methodology/approach
The theoretical framing is rooted in the IMP approach and in the literature on triads. A case study approach is used to illustrate the TST by analyzing a case involving a wholesaler of installation products, tools and supplies, a main construction company and a transport service provider.

Findings
The paper shows how the connections between the business relationships in the TST, influenced by connections to relationships outside the triad, impact on the efficiency in freight transport. The paper illustrates how analysis of TSTs can be applied in micro-level studies of change in freight transport systems and in supply networks.

Research limitations/implications
The triadic approach is instrumental to understand change in the transport system because it includes all relevant parties and relationships of concern, as well as the logic framing of their actions. However, while arguing that TSTs are generic to their nature, each TST is unique and needs to be identified and analyzed in its specific context.

Practical implications
The suggested framework may contribute to an understanding of the embeddedness of transport services in supply/business networks. The framework may support the development of new ways of operating and creating value for customers and offering sustainable transport solutions.

Originality/value
From the transport policy makers’ perspective, micro-level analysis is important to understand behavioral adjustments to new policies

Supply chain

Networks

Freight

Transport

Triad

Relationship

Author

Dan Andersson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Anna Dubois

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Victor Eriksson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Kajsa Hulthén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Anne-Maria Holma

University of Vaasa

Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

0885-8624 (ISSN)

Vol. 34 1 253-266

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Transport Systems and Logistics

Business Administration

Areas of Advance

Transport

DOI

10.1108/JBIM-10-2018-0299

More information

Latest update

7/21/2019