Purchasing Green Transport and Logistics Services: Implications from the Environmental Sustainability Attitude of 3PLs

Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Transport engineering, Business and Management.

Publication Details

Chapter 26 in Outsourcing Management for Supply Chain Operations and Logistics Services (Ed. Folinas, D.), Hershey PA: Information Science Reference, pp. 449-465.


Environmental sustainability is an area of increasing importance for third party logistics (3PL) companies. As the design and implementation of services requires interaction between buyer and 3PL, the 3PLs are in a critical position to support the efforts towards greening operations of different supply chain participants. However the literature in this field reflects a gap between the perspectives of buyers and 3PLs. This chapter attempts to fill this void through an explorative case study analysis on the environmental attitude of 3PLs in order to derive implications for buyers’ behavior. The results indicate that the buyer’s role is critical in different ways in the development of green initiatives among 3PLs. An increased orientation towards longer-term contracts and joint development would likely enhance the level of green initiatives. Indirectly, the buyer has the opportunity to influence its 3PLs through interaction with employees on different levels in the company, including top management.

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