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The Role of ‘Influencers’ as Drivers of a More Sustainable Urban Freight Sector

Journal article
Authors Alena Brettmo
Jon Williamsson
Published in Sustainability
Volume 12
Issue 7
ISSN 2071-1050
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Language und
Keywords urban freight; stakeholder; influencer; business model
Subject categories Business Administration, Transport Systems and Logistics


Abstract The importance of stakeholders in the development of a sustainable urban freight sector has been highlighted in recent research. Not all stakeholders have a direct link to the supply chain, but they may still play a role in creating sustainable urban freight initiatives. This study explores the initiatives that norm-setting indirect stakeholders in urban freight, referred to as ‘influencers’, establish to support a more sustainable urban freight sector, and how those initiatives may impact the business models of carriers. The study uses data gathered for ongoing research into the roles of indirect stakeholders in the development of sustainable urban freight initiatives. The results indicate that influencers can put pressure on receivers regarding logistical issues and shape the physical environment in which deliveries are conducted. Influencers use three primary strategies to support sustainable urban freight: vehicle-focused measures, consolidation linked to physical infrastructure, and consolidation through behavioural changes. These initiatives impact the relationship between receivers and carriers and may push carriers to adopt more sustainable practices as well as take decisions that impact their business models. The results highlight the often-overlooked power of influencers in relation to the development of actor behaviour in the urban freight supply chain and show the potential for both conflict and change arising from the use of this power.

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