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Using a “virtual joint venture” to facilitate the adoption of intermodal transport.

Monios, Jason; Bergqvist, Rickard


Jason Monios

Rickard Bergqvist


Purpose The supply chain literature discusses various models of supply chain collaboration and integration. When applied to logistics, each has been shown to exhibit different levels of success depending on particular factors. This paper examines a strategic alliance between a large shipper and a freight forwarder to provide an intermodal service to and from the port of Gothenburg. Design/methodology/approach The methodology is based on action research and interviews supplemented by document analysis. Findings According to this innovative model, a new entity is not set up but an open-book basis is established, long-term contracts with other parties are signed, risks and profits are shared, and the shipper makes several investments specific to the service. Thus the benefits of a joint venture are obtained without needing to establish a new organisation and thus sacrifice flexibility and independence. Research limitations/implications A limitation of this study is that it is based on a single case of best practice; it may be difficult to replicate the high levels of trust in other situations. Nevertheless, the evident success of this “virtual joint venture” suggests that some elements are transferable to other cases, and the model may be refined through additional case analysis. Practical implications Results indicate several advantages of this “virtual joint venture” model, including risk sharing, knowledge development, long-term service stability and diversification of activities which all contribute to facilitating the shift of a large customer from road haulage to intermodal transport. Potential challenges mainly relate to contractual complexity. Originality/value This paper identifies an innovative business model for logistics integration that can be used in future in other cases to make modal shift more attractive and successful, which is a key aim of government policy in many countries.


Monios, J., & Bergqvist, R. (2015). Using a “virtual joint venture” to facilitate the adoption of intermodal transport. Supply chain management, 20(5), 534-548.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 10, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 31, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 11, 2017
Journal Supply Chain Management
Print ISSN 1359-8546
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 5
Pages 534-548
Keywords Integration ; alliances ; transport operations ; logistics management ; collaboration,; logistic service providers
Public URL
Publisher URL


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