Organisation of LTL networks - consequences for intermodal transport
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2006
In the transportation sector the issue of intermodal transport has grown significantly more important over the years and is a potential means toward sustainable transportation systems. One important type of user of intermodal transport is less-than-truck load (LTL) service providers. LTL networks often consist of a forwarder and a number of hauliers in a more or less formal organisation. They often work together for many years with the shared strategic purpose to produce transport services, an organisation form that in the construction industry is called a quasifirm.
In the relationship between haulier and forwarder the direct mode choice is often made by one of them while they represent different levels of decision-making and hold different responsibilities. Consequently, the forwarder-haulier organisation--the quasifirm--can be expected to influence the use of intermodal road-rail transport.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the business setup between haulier and forwarder as a quasifirm and by means of this concept to outline possible influences on issues important for intermodal road-rail transport.
The theory of the quasifirm is presented. To empirically show the existence of the quasifirm in LTL networks, a case study of the forwarder Schenker with their associated hauliers is matched to the theory. The paper establishes the studied forwarder with its associated hauliers as a quasifirm, an organisation form that is proved to have some beneficial characteristics. However, this organisation form also has some less beneficial consequences for the use of intermodal transport.