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Maritime container shipping: does coopetition improve cost and environmental efficiencies?

Trapp, Andrew C., Harris, Irina ORCID:, Sanchez Rodrigues, Vasco ORCID: and Sarkis, Joseph 2020. Maritime container shipping: does coopetition improve cost and environmental efficiencies? Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 87 , 102507. 10.1016/j.trd.2020.102507

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Global retail supply chains are heavily reliant on efficient container shipping. This study focuses on how a shipping intermediary such as a fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider can enable efficiency gains in retail container distribution. We consider the assignment of cargo to containers and vessels to accommodate downstream retailer demand, aiming to minimize both environmental and economic costs. We develop an integer optimization model that represents the key decisions of which journeys to select to ship various types, and quantities, of products onto containers of various sizes. We generate problem instances using international supply chain data inspired by two large United Kingdom (UK) retailers. Our model is useful for evaluating the feasibility of coopetition in container shipping, which we define as a contractual agreement with a 4PL, of which consolidation is one operational dimension. We conduct a variety of sensitivity analyses around the cost of fuel, cost of carbon emissions, and under coopetition or competition, to better understand their effects on model outcomes. Although some studies have mentioned that coopetition can prove economically beneficial, our study has shown that for the data and model we consider, the advantages of coopetition are quite limited. Our findings suggest there are limited economic or environmental benefits associated with the competition or coopetition scenarios when only fuel costs increase. The greatest benefits from an environmental perspective occur when joint increases of fuel and CO2 costs occur, which result in greater environmental co-benefits in the coopetition case. Alternatively, CO2 cost increases show that competition contexts had greater environmental benefit.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1361-9209
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 August 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 02:01

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