Cross Chain Control Collaboration (4C)

Characteristics of collaborative business models

The EU funded ‘Collaboration Concepts for Co-modality’, or ‘CO3’ in short, has the aim of developing, professionalising and disseminating information on the business strategy of logistics collaboration in Europe.

Identifying collaborative business models
As part of the CO3 project this report has been produced to identify those characteristics that can contribute to a successful collaborative business model. It focusses specifically on the cultural, philosophical and operational aspects of companies who currently collaborate horizontally in one form or another, and compares this with companies who have yet to consider, or have rejected, this approach.
The methodology involved developing an interview protocol which was based on existing literature from a wide range of sources. The literature considered the cultural and operational aspects of collaboration and this identified the key elements to be included in any discussions with companies. Individual companies were selected for interview based on a range of criteria including:

  • Different industry sectors
  • Retailers, manufacturers and logistics service providers
  • Multi national and local operations
  • Range of transport modes

In total 30 companies were interviewed in four countries. Some of the companies were duplicated in order to understand different perspectives. These individual interviews were supplemented by focus group seminars involving people who also represented a wide range of logistics related activities. They were split into breakout groups and given a set of questions to discuss. The members of each group were made up of representatives from multiple industry sectors, and at least one logistics service provider (LSP), so that there was a balance between depth and coverage.

The elements derived from the literature, and used in the interviews, covered aspects of company culture, including the corporate environment and managerial philosophy, the drivers for, and components of, collaboration. This philosophical and cultural analysis was supported by operational and supply chain characteristics.

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