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Last-mile logistics of perishable products: a review of effectiveness and efficiency measures used in empirical research

PublicationArticle (with peer review)

Abstract

Purpose

Current online business development redistributes last-mile logistics (LML) from consumer to retailer and producer. This paper identifies how empirical LML research has used and defined logistic performance measures for key grocery industry actors. Using a multi-actor perspective on logistic performance, the authors discuss coordination issues important for optimising LML at system level.

Design/methodology/approach

A semi-systematic literature review of 85 publications was conducted to analyse performance measurements used for effectiveness and efficiency, and for which actors.

Findings

Few empirical LML studies exist examining coordination between key actors or on system level. Most studies focus on logistic performance measurements for retailers and/or consumers, not producers. Key goals and resource utilisations lack research, including all key actors and system-level coordination.

Research limitations/implications

Current LML performance research implies a risk for sub-optimisation. Through expanding on efficiency and effectiveness interplay at system level and introducing new research perspectives, the review highlights the need to revaluate single-actor, single-measurement studies.

Practical implications

No established scientific guidelines exist for solving LML optimisation in the grocery industry. For managers, it is important to thoroughly consider efficiency and effectiveness in LML execution, coordination and collaboration among key actors, avoiding sub-optimisations for business and sustainability.

Originality/value

The study contributes to current knowledge by reviewing empirical research on LML performance in the grocery sector, showing how previous research disregards the importance of multiple actors and coordination of actors, efficiency and effectiveness.

The article can be accessed here.

Lagin, M., Håkansson, J., Nordström, C., Nyberg, R. G., & Öberg, C. (2022). Last-mile logistics of perishable products: a review of effectiveness and efficiency measures used in empirical research. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 50(13), 116-139.

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