Internal coordination to enable high load factor
Journal article, 2017
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to clarify how activities may be coordinated within shippers’ organisations to enable high load factor (a key aspect of transport efficiency).
Design/methodology/approach: A multiple-case study involving three shippers was conducted, in which the logistics or transport managers of each company were interviewed. The cases were analysed according to (1) which activities were coordinated to achieve high load factor, (2) interdependencies between the activities, and (3) the coordination mechanisms that shippers adopted.
Findings: A matrix is developed to show the differences in applying various coordination mechanisms in eight categories, according to (1) intrafunctional or interfunctional coordination, (2) sequential or reciprocal interdependencies, and (3) the number of activities (dyadic or multiple). For example, coordination mechanisms aimed at exerting control are more suitable for intrafunctional than interfunctional interaction; interfunctional coordination relies more on mechanisms that aim to increase the understanding of transport-related issues among non-logistics activities.
Research limitations/implications: The study is based on data from three Swedish companies.
Practical implications: Managers are provided with suggestions for coordinating activities when their goal is to improve load factor. These findings are of interest for reducing costs and emissions.
Originality/value: In response to suggestions in the earlier literature that shippers could improve their internal coordination to improve their load factor, this paper articulates several mechanisms for performing such coordination in eight situations.