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Port-related Conflict at Port of Gothenburg – Consequences from a Retailer’s Perspective

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Erica Lindroth
Huong Ha
Rickard Bergqvist
Publicerad i Nofoma 2018, 13-15th of June, Kolding, Denmark
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Industriell och Finansiell ekonomi & logistik
Språk en
Ämnesord Port Conflicts, Risk Management, Fashion Industry, Supply Chain Disruption
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi


Previous researchers have distinguished the risks of supply chain disruptions (Norrman and Jansson, 2004; Kleindorfer and Saad, 2005; Chopra and Sodhi, 2004; Wakolbinger and Cruz, 2011) and the negative effect of supply chain disruption on operational performance in terms of sales, costs and inventory (Hendricks and Singhal, 2005; Wilson, 2007; Vilko and Hallikas 2011). However, few researchers have studied supply chain risk management and strategies in relation to port conflicts. The 2016 port conflict at a major logistics port in Scandinavia, the Port of Gothenburg, posed an opportunity to study risk management and strategies in the context of major port disruptions, in this case, a labour conflict. The recent conflicts between APM terminals and the dockworkers labour union in the Port of Gothenburg had severe consequences not only for these two actors, but for numerous companies operating in this region. Since April 2016, the conflict regarding labourers' rights has escalated in; downsizing, lockouts by employers, strikes and other industrial actions. As the Port of Gothenburg has for a long time been the logistics hub of Sweden, with around 60 % of all containers in Sweden shipped via Port of Gothenburg, the uncertain conditions at the port have contributed to impoverished logistics services which are of high importance for both large and small companies. Therefore, it is undeniable that the port conflict had a substantial disruptive impact on the supply chain, leading many companies to redesign the whole logistics network, which can be both costly and time consuming. This paper focuses on the segment of fashion retailers since this segment is one of the most affected segments due to the nature of their business with high demand on short and predictable lead times and supply chain accuracy. Any disturbances will not likely only have a negative effect on logistics cost but also have severe consequences on the opportunity to meet e.g. seasonal demand related to fashion and thus lead to obsolete stock which in turn will require marking down of products. This study investigates the effects of the port conflict from a fashion retailer’s perspective, by conducting in-depth case analysis of five companies. The objective is to identify main effects of the port conflict on retailers’ supply chain and their risk management strategies to address the arising challenges.

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