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Closer Starfish: A research project investigating freight distribution cooperation opportunities in Sweden

  • Andreas Holmberg
  • Henrik Sternberg
  • Jerker Sjögren
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Document type: Report
Publisher: [Publisher information missing]


Horizontal cooperation, when companies on the same level in the supply chain cooperate, is a concept that has received increased focus during the last decade and has been examined in both the Benelux and the UK. In Sweden, the horizontal cooperation has only been examined on a smaller scale in remote areas. We have carried out a quantitative case study, examining horizontal cooperation at the network level. Seven companies--two retailers (Coop and ICA) and five suppliers (Findus, Arvid Nordquist, Löfbergs Lila, Cloetta, and KåKå) participated in the study and have contributed transportation and cost data. The analysis has tested various coalitions of the participating companies and the study shows, in line with previous research, that companies have the ability to reduce their transport costs. Cooperation between a large actor and one or more smaller companies shows a potential cost savings between 1 and 10%. Cooperations between the smaller actors indicate potential cost savings of more than 20%. However, there are uncertainties in the data concerning the smaller companies and therefore, further analysis is needed in order to investigate how these potentials are to be realized.

Closer Starfish shows that there is a large potential to reduce costs if companies combine horizontal and vertical cooperation. The companies have a great possibility to make their transports more efficient by cooperating outside of their own supply chain. In order to maximize the likelihood of this possibility it is important to further study in more depth coalitions with both horizontal and vertical cooperation in order to investigate how to realize the identified potential in practice.


  • Other Mechanical Engineering
  • Horizontal cooperation Vertical cooperation Supply Chain Management Distribution