The organisation and development of transport companies should not be seen separately from the development of logistical chains. The logistical chains are constantly changing as new logistics concepts are introduced (supply chain management, just in time, efficient consumer response, etc). These changing processes have accelerated by the development of ICT (e-business, monitoring systems, etc) resulting considerable consequences to the development of transport companies.
However, research which covers the operators point of view on this development is very scarce (also at the international level). At the same time, a number of environmental claims are posed to the operators. These claims comprise accumulation of knowledge on sustainable transport solutions, e.g. intermodal transport, increased capacity utilisation, reduced deadheading and environmental certificates ('green certificates').
The objective of the project is to pinpoint opportunities and barriers for the development of the transport sector while focusing on knowledge, competences and learning.
Starting from the role of the operators in the logistical chain, the project addresses the following issues:
- A number of experiments and concept development processes with stakeholders in transport companies and the networks of these are investigated in order to expose opportunities and barriers for development of new transport concepts. The project focuses on concepts that are rooted at both inter-organisational (network relations) and intra-organisational (functional relations) levels. Emphasis is put on concepts which focus on learning and development of organisations and competences in relation to development of ICT and environmental regulation. This part of the project is carried through in close relation with a group of selected transport companies. Case studies with companies from other European companies are to some extent included.
- Theory and methods for decision of competences, learning and organisational development are developed. The contextual analysis from (1) is coupled to theory on learning and development of competences within the modern business economy, organisational theory and sociology.
- Development of theory and methods for coupling trends in the development of post-modern societies' organisation of production with the increase in transport and the organisational change hereof. Theoretical studies of the compression of time and space of the post-modern production culture and the incentives for mobility are carried out.
The project evolves around the correlation between the logistical organisation of the supply chain and the parties of transport industry.
The project has developed a qualitative methodology focusing on transport and transport parties concentrating on the small and medium sized enterprises. The approach has been analytical and oriented towards change and development.
The second part of the project has analysed a method for organisational development in the shape of future workshops and scenario building applied to three case studies.
Existing logistics literature does not on the whole concern itself with the role of transport parties within the supply chain. It is necessary to determine how to study transport as a part of the logistical system and how to develop concepts for the development of parties within the transport industry.