Logistics collaboration to improve sustainability performance in the Dutch food retail sector

H.M. Stellingwerf, J.M. Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J.G.A.J. van der Vorst, F.C.A.M. Cruijssen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Purpose: Following recent developments, supply chain actors are rethinking their logistics structures and management practices to arrive at sustainable concepts able to deliver perishable food products to retail outlets responsive, at lower cost, with less food waste and with less environmental impact. Literature has already shown opportunities of horizontal and vertical collaboration to increase logistics performance. However, one of the key gaps in literature is which particular logistics collaboration concept (LCC) is best used in particular case settings when all mentioned performance aspects are included in the integral decision making process in conditioned chains. Most research on collaboration concepts has concentrated on standard Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as profit margin and costs. For the food retail sector however, domain specific KPIs such as freshness and food waste should also be taken into account. Therefore, this paper aims (1) to present different LCCs together with their advantages and disadvantages for different stakeholders in the food retail sector and (2) to illustrate possible collaboration advantages using a case study in the context of perishable products.
Research approach: First, literature analysis is used to provide an overview of LCCs together with their advantages and disadvantages. Next, a case study is executed at a Dutch retail consortium (comprising 13 food retailers) to determine collaboration scenarios based on the LCCs found. Then, the impact of these LCC based scenarios is assessed using an explorative scenario study. This research results in an application oriented assessment of different LCCs. The findings of this paper are summarized in a conceptual model that links collaboration concepts to sustainability performance.
Findings and Originality: This paper provides an overview of relevant LCCs with their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, it provides insight into promising logistics collaboration scenarios for sustainability performance improvements. This is done by the execution of a case study in the Dutch fresh food retail sector.
Research impact and practical impact: This research broadens knowledge on LCCs applied to the food retail sector with emphasis on sustainability improvement. Moreover, it provides insights into the practical relevance of different LCCs. A conceptual model links collaboration to sustainability performance, thus providing practical ideas on how sustainability performance can be improved via collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventLRN conference - Derby, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


ConferenceLRN conference
CountryUnited Kingdom

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Logistics collaboration to improve sustainability performance in the Dutch food retail sector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this