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The physical internet – review, analysis and future research agenda

Sternberg, Henrik LU and Norrman, Andreas LU (2017) In International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 47(8). p.736-762
Abstract (Swedish)
Purpose – The Physical Internet (PI) is an emerging concept that applies the Digital Internet as a design metaphor for the development of sustainable, interoperable and collaborative freight transport. With the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in their future efforts to develop efficient logistics systems, the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the existing literature on the Physical Internet, to critically discuss the concept, and to outline a research agenda. Design/methodology/approach – The literature review investigates scientific papers, project reports, specifications and other publications related to PI. Forty-six publications were finally analyzed. Our approach is technology adoption by firms. We examine... (More)
Purpose – The Physical Internet (PI) is an emerging concept that applies the Digital Internet as a design metaphor for the development of sustainable, interoperable and collaborative freight transport. With the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in their future efforts to develop efficient logistics systems, the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the existing literature on the Physical Internet, to critically discuss the concept, and to outline a research agenda. Design/methodology/approach – The literature review investigates scientific papers, project reports, specifications and other publications related to PI. Forty-six publications were finally analyzed. Our approach is technology adoption by firms. We examine the Physical Internet based on four factors: organizational readiness (technological blueprints), external pressure (promised effects), perceived benefits (business model), and adoption. Findings – A growing number of strategies, blueprints and specifications have been developed for PI, yet there are no currently developed models that illustrate how the move from the entrenched logistics business models to the Physical Internet could ensue. There is a lack of understanding of the business models needed that can involve critical actors and promote the adoption of the PI concept. Research implications – While using the Internet as a metaphor for reimagining physical transports is certainly exciting, this review and analysis suggest that several research questions need to be addressed before further PI blueprint work is carried out. Practical implications – The “grand challenge” of sustainability in logistics needs to be addressed and improved, but our analysis suggests that to some extent, it is uncertain how the PI will contribute to improving sustainability, and why logistics service providers should engage. Policy makers and practitioners are provided with critical issues to consider in the practical development and adoption of the concept. Originality/value – This paper provides an outsider and technology-adoption perspective of PI research, as well as important implications for policy makers and researchers. (Less)
Abstract
Purpose
The Physical Internet (PI) is an emerging concept that applies the Digital Internet as a design metaphor for the development of sustainable, interoperable and collaborative freight transport. With the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in their future efforts to develop efficient logistics systems, the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the existing literature on the PI, to critically discuss the concept and to outline a research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach
The literature review investigates scientific papers, project reports, specifications and other publications related to PI. In total, 46 publications were finally analyzed. The approach used in this paper is technology adoption by... (More)
Purpose
The Physical Internet (PI) is an emerging concept that applies the Digital Internet as a design metaphor for the development of sustainable, interoperable and collaborative freight transport. With the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in their future efforts to develop efficient logistics systems, the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the existing literature on the PI, to critically discuss the concept and to outline a research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach
The literature review investigates scientific papers, project reports, specifications and other publications related to PI. In total, 46 publications were finally analyzed. The approach used in this paper is technology adoption by firms. The authors examine the PI based on four factors: organizational readiness (technological blueprints), external pressure (promised effects), perceived benefits (business model) and adoption.

Findings
A growing number of strategies, blueprints and specifications have been developed for PI, yet there are no currently developed models that illustrate how the move from the entrenched logistics business models to the PI could ensue. There is a lack of understanding of the business models needed that can involve critical actors and promote the adoption of the PI concept.

Research limitations/implications
While using the internet as a metaphor for reimagining physical transports is certainly exciting, this review and analysis suggest that several research questions need to be addressed before further PI blueprint work is carried out.

Practical implications
The “grand challenge” of sustainability in logistics needs to be addressed and improved, but the authors’ analysis suggests that, to some extent, it is uncertain how the PI will contribute to improving sustainability, and why logistics service providers should engage in PI. Policy makers and practitioners are provided with critical issues to consider in the practical development and adoption of the concept.

Originality/value
This paper provides an outsider and technology-adoption perspective of PI research, as well as important implications for policy makers and researchers.
(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Physical Internet, Open Logistics, Intelligent Cargo, Autonomous Logistics, Business Model Innovation, Grand challenges, Business model innovation, Grand challenge, Autonomous logistics, Intelligent Cargo, Open logistics, Physical Internet
in
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
volume
47
issue
8
pages
23 pages
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:85027564032
  • wos:000407925600004
ISSN
0960-0035
DOI
10.1108/IJPDLM-12-2016-0353
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
af504d81-b950-48c3-8ec6-096df667b74b
date added to LUP
2017-08-10 23:52:18
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:14:27
@article{af504d81-b950-48c3-8ec6-096df667b74b,
  abstract     = {Purpose<br/>The Physical Internet (PI) is an emerging concept that applies the Digital Internet as a design metaphor for the development of sustainable, interoperable and collaborative freight transport. With the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in their future efforts to develop efficient logistics systems, the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the existing literature on the PI, to critically discuss the concept and to outline a research agenda.<br/><br/>Design/methodology/approach<br/>The literature review investigates scientific papers, project reports, specifications and other publications related to PI. In total, 46 publications were finally analyzed. The approach used in this paper is technology adoption by firms. The authors examine the PI based on four factors: organizational readiness (technological blueprints), external pressure (promised effects), perceived benefits (business model) and adoption.<br/><br/>Findings<br/>A growing number of strategies, blueprints and specifications have been developed for PI, yet there are no currently developed models that illustrate how the move from the entrenched logistics business models to the PI could ensue. There is a lack of understanding of the business models needed that can involve critical actors and promote the adoption of the PI concept.<br/><br/>Research limitations/implications<br/>While using the internet as a metaphor for reimagining physical transports is certainly exciting, this review and analysis suggest that several research questions need to be addressed before further PI blueprint work is carried out.<br/><br/>Practical implications<br/>The “grand challenge” of sustainability in logistics needs to be addressed and improved, but the authors’ analysis suggests that, to some extent, it is uncertain how the PI will contribute to improving sustainability, and why logistics service providers should engage in PI. Policy makers and practitioners are provided with critical issues to consider in the practical development and adoption of the concept.<br/><br/>Originality/value<br/>This paper provides an outsider and technology-adoption perspective of PI research, as well as important implications for policy makers and researchers.<br/>},
  author       = {Sternberg, Henrik and Norrman, Andreas},
  issn         = {0960-0035},
  keyword      = {Physical Internet,Open Logistics,Intelligent Cargo,Autonomous Logistics,Business Model Innovation,Grand challenges,Business model innovation, Grand challenge,Autonomous logistics,Intelligent Cargo,Open logistics,Physical Internet},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {736--762},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management},
  title        = {The physical internet – review, analysis and future research agenda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-12-2016-0353},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2017},
}