The role of contractual and non-contractual relations between transport buyers and providers, in an environmental context

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Anna Mellin
Edith Sorkina

The aim of this paper is to describe the relationship between transport buying companies and carriers, with a focus on the transport contracts in Sweden for land based transports. Based on the aim of this study, the following research questions have been defined: How can contracts be categorized? What is the average duration and flexibility of the transport contracts to external changes? and Which environmental related elements are commonly regulated in the contracts? Based on a literature review and interviews with people on strategic positions in the transport industry, we have conducted a web-survey. In addition to contractual agreements the survey also tried to capture the relation on environmental issues, as well as the experienced logistics performance over time. Results from the survey indicates that the suggested contract categorisation from the literature was not well known by the respondents, the average duration of contracts was 1-2 years and the majority of contracts includes a fuel clause, but not many environmental requirements. Further, the analysis indicates that companies with long term contracts set environmental requirements to a larger extend and that there is a positive significant relation between the companies’ environmental work with in the transport operation and their perception of an improved logistics performance, both in terms of quality and cost.

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