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The European Union has made a commitment to promoting sustainable mobility through advanced transport logistics. One of the principal areas yet to be addressed is that of the potential barriers to advanced transport logistics and the attitudes of industry to this advancement. This paper addresses some of these concerns and argues that competition for high-value contracts can be very tough, especially where the contracts are from large organisations that often prefer to develop a relationship with only one transport service provider. The paper attempts to put the research into a theoretical framework of Resource-Advantage Theory. Empirical evidence is presented from key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews and a focus group on the motives for and challenges of forming collaborative ventures. The paper argues that joining forces to form a road haulage consortium can allow small-to-medium operators compete against larger players by improving services to the customer through reduced delivery times and wider geographical coverage. Collaboration has potential benefits not only for freight transport service providers in terms of efficiency and utilisation, but also for the wider society through increased quality of life.
Plant, E., McGovern, J.: Rationales for collaboration; implications for the Irish road freight industry. 19th Annual NOFOMA Conference, University of Iceland, Reykjavik. June, 2007.