The Role and Potential of Freight Transportation Sourcing in Achieving Transport Sustainability

Past event — 15 April 2015

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Garland Chow

Associate Professoor

Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia


Freight shippers have a great influence on the GHG emissions through their transportation sourcing and supplier management practices.  When shippers utilize sustainability in their truck carrier selection decisions, and reward and educate in their supplier relationships, carriers have an incentive to be greener.  Insights on transportation sourcing and supplier management practices affecting sustainability were developed from an online survey of Canadian shippers and 5 case studies completed in early 2014. The survey identified the popularity of weak versus strong sustainable carrier sourcing practices.  We find that carrier sourcing and carrier supplier management are some of the least utilized “best practice” of shippers but this strategy has high potential to reduce GHG emissions. An analysis of the motivations and barriers for adopting more sustainable carrier sourcing practices indicates that the motivation of firms to include sustainability in their sourcing decision is increasing. The major barriers to incorporating sustainability in carrier sourcing are profit impact and effective GHG footprint measurement but third party carbon measurement programs such as SmartWay and those offered by third party logistics suppliers are reducing these barriers. These findings are useful to shippers seeking to incorporate sustainability in their sourcing decisions, to carriers who seek to differentiate their product in the “green” dimension and the public sector, which can influence the motivations and barriers.

About the presenter

Garland Chow is Associate Professor, Operations and Logistics Division in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.  He teaches and writes in the fields of supply chain, business logistics, freight transport and supply management. He has taught in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and the UK and is a frequent speaker before professional associations and executive programs. He was awarded the 2003 National Mentor Award and 2008 National Service Award by Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Canada. He is currently an appointed member of the National Board of the Supply Chain Management Association of Canada serving as Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of Research Subcommittee.  He has published over 200 articles and reports in the supply chain and transportation field. His current supply chain research interests include: global sourcing strategy, evaluation of total landed costs, modeling of supply chain disruptions, the location of value added services in the global supply chain network, and sustainable transportation sourcing. He is also the Director of the Bureau of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Freight Security (BITSAFS) with current projects in vehicle platooning and pre-screening of commercial vehicles. In 2012, Garland was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in ensuring that goods continue to cross Canadian borders in an efficient, safe and secure manner.
Garland Chow earned his BS and MBA degrees from the University of Maryland and doctorate from Indiana University.  

More info about Prof. Chow

About the Seminar

The KLU research seminar series is a regular meeting of PhD students, Post-Docs and professors who conduct research in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The research seminar is open to the public and we happily welcome guests.