Collaborative Tracking and Tracing – A Supply Chain Perspective
Doctoral thesis, 2013

The purpose of this thesis is to explore tracking and tracing (T&T) systems to develop the concept of “collaborative tracking and tracing” for the management of logistics operations. The thesis is based on extensive literature reviews, and four major empirical studies, including one structured interview study, one documentation review study, case studies of two Swedish fresh-fish supply chains (SCs) and a case study of the Volvo cars body components (VCBC) SC. Design science is applied as a research approach to provide propositions for designing new types of collaborative T&T systems, thus fulfilling the requirements of real-world logistics settings. The findings indicate the major types of information that are valuable for actors of SCs. One of the main functions supported by the SC information types is in enabling the T&T of transported entities. The T&T of goods and transport resources is one of the main transportation functions supported by freight intelligent transportation systems (ITSs). Results indicate that implementation of the standardised information service frameworks (SISFs) and auto-identification technology to enable collaborative food T&T potentially affects different logistics activities conducted by actors of the food SCs. In addition, it affects the costs of their operations and their revenue. Sharing data via a rail-wagon collaborative T&T system provides opportunities for different actors of an automotive rail logistics SC including traffic authorities, transport operators and transport customers. Some of the improvements resulting from the application of the railway collaborative T&T system are better monitoring and control of infrastructure usage, improving the efficiency of maintenance procedures, improving logistics administration processes and enabling the T&T at all levels of transported entities. The thesis explores the mismatches between the interests and interpretations of different SC actors from the application of a collaborative T&T system and, furthermore, it identifies the most suitable patterns for designing collaborative T&T systems. Findings indicate that a collaborative T&T system based on loose couplings is an appropriate solution for inter-organisational T&T for the logistics networks that actors will join or leave in run-time. This research contributes to the body of knowledge in the areas of logistics information systems, freight ITSs, logistics T&T, SC collaboration and SC information sharing, with more focus on sharing information related to logistics and transportation of food products and also rail-wagon freight transport. Providing useful knowledge for the practitioners through exploring the opportunities and challenges of implementing collaborative T&T systems is the main practical contribution of the thesis. Deep exploration of the T&T in an inter-organisational context considering its challenges and opportunities for different SC actors and issues related to its implementation is an original outcome of this thesis. Keywords: logistics, supply chain, actors, collaborative, tracking and tracing (T&T), entities, food, rail, wagon, design.





supply chain




tracking and tracing (T&T)


Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Chalmers, Gothenburg
Opponent: Professor Duncan McFarlane, University of Cambridge


Vahid Mirza Beiki

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Effects of using smart goods on traceability information and carried out activities in supply chains of fresh food- a cross case analysis

proceedings of the NOFOMA conference, 2010, Kolding, Denmark,; (2010)

Paper in proceeding

Collaborative Tracking: The Vaue of A Composite Design

Proceedings of Nofoma conference, Naantali, Finland,; (2012)p. 634-648

Paper in proceeding

Effects on Logistic Operations from RFID- and EPCIS- Enabled Traceability

British Food Journal,; Vol. 116(2014)p. 104-124

Journal article

Determining the value of information for different partners in the supply chain

International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management,; Vol. 38(2008)p. 659-673

Journal article

An Overview of Freight Intelligent Transportation Systems

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management,; Vol. 14(2013)p. 473-489

Review article

Aligning Organisational Interests in Designing Rail-wagon Tracking

Operations Management Research,; Vol. 5(2012)p. 101-115

Journal article

Sharing tracking and tracing data to improve operations of supply chain actors

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management,; Vol. 13(2012)p. 81-95

Journal article

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics


Basic sciences

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie

Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Chalmers, Gothenburg

Opponent: Professor Duncan McFarlane, University of Cambridge

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