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  • Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation Dyad multiple case study

    Business Process and Supply Chain Management Master Thesis, 30 ECTS

    Authors: Yulia Vakulenko Quynh Nguyen Thi Truc Alireza Mehrmand Supervisor: Åsa Gustavsson Examiner: Helena Forslund Date: 2015-05-27 Semester: Spring, 2015 Level: Master Course code: 5FE02E

  • Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation

    i

    Abstract

    Business Administration, Business Process and Supply Chain Management, Degree

    Project (master), 30 higher education credits, course, Spring 2015

    Authors: Yulia Vakulenko, Quynh Nguyen, Alireza Mehrmand

    Examiner: Professor Helena Forslund

    Tutor: Åsa Gustavsson

    Title: Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation

    Background:

    In the past, enterprises had no recognition of information integration and operated as

    independent units within a chain. As a result, most of the firms throughout the supply chain

    faced inadequate information sharing, lack of collaboration, and absence of compatible IT

    infrastructure. Theses three elements play a crucial role in information integration that assists

    companies’ goal congruence. In a highly competitive market, companies from different

    industries take these three elements into consideration in order to synchronize their activities.

    Nowadays, transportation industry plays a crucial role in all developed countries in order to

    fulfill the customer’s needs and act as a connection between manufacturers and consumers.

    Intermodal freight transportation is one of the elements of transportation industry that includes

    two main players - freight company and terminal operator.

    In this respect, it is essential to review theoretical framework and explore the practice of

    information integration within intermodal freight transportation. Hence, this study carries an

    investigation on information integration in accordance with theoretical framework from the

    perspective of the dyad that includes a freight company and a terminal operator.

    Purpose:

    The research defines the level of information integration within intermodal freight

    transportation. A freight company and a terminal operator are the players studied in this

    research. Three elements of information integration, which are collaboration, information

    sharing, and IT implementation and adaptation, are investigated in order to identify the level of

  • Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation

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    information integration. The main objective is to understand the information integration and its

    level within the industry from a dyadic perspective.

    Method:

    This research is conducted from a positivist scientific perspective along with qualitative

    research method and deductive approach. The authors conduct the embedded multiple-case

    study with a dyadic perspective. In this context, the freight companies and terminal operators

    are the studied players within this research. In order to gather the empirical data, semi-

    structured interviews are conducted via telephone and email. Empirical data is analyzed by

    utilizing two different methods, which are within-case and cross-case analysis. Furthermore,

    ethical issues are considered in this research, based upon trustworthiness and accuracy.

    Result, conclusion:

    The conclusion of this research is based upon within and cross case analysis. Three studied

    dyads have shown the same result of medium level, while one dyad has demonstrated high

    level of information integration. In this regard, each dyad has been rated separately in

    accordance with the theoretical framework that provides scale with low, medium and high

    levels regarding collaboration, information sharing, and IT implementation and adaptation in

    order to find the level of information integration. From the dyadic perspective and with help of

    cross case analysis, the level of information integration regarding the whole research

    population is defined at medium level. It is remarkable that obtained results, in accordance

    with the theoretical framework, are different from the companies’ representatives’ perception

    of information integration.

    Keywords: information integration, collaboration, information sharing, IT implementation and

    adaptation, freight company, terminal operator, intermodal freight transportation, container

    handling.

  • Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation

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    Acknowledgements

    We would never have been able to accomplish our thesis without supervision of number of

    people during spring 2015.

    Foremost, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our academic tutor, Åsa

    Gustavsson and our examiner, Professor Helena Forslund, for their constructive feedback, and

    continues support during the entire semester.

    Furthermore, we would like to thank all the interviewees who spent their time to provide us

    with a valuable empirical data. We would never have been able to draw research conclusions

    without proper empirical data.

    Last but not least, we are grateful to our opposition group for their valuable criticism

    throughout the research process.

    Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, May 27, 2015

    _________________ _________________ _________________

    Alireza Mehrmand Quynh Nguyen Yulia Vakulenko

  • Information Integration in Intermodal Freight Transportation

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    Table of Content   List of Figures  ....................................................................................................................................  vii  

    List of Tables  ......................................................................................................................................  vii  

    List of Abbreviations  .......................................................................................................................  viii  

    Chapter 1. Introduction  .....................................................................................................................  1   1.1 Background  ..............................................................................................................................................  2  

    1.1.1 Transportation Industry and intermodal freight transportation  ............................................................  2   1.1.2 Information Integration in Supply Chain  ....................................................................................................  5   1.1.3 Information integration between freight company and terminal operator  .......................................  6  

    1.2 Problem Discussion  .................................................................................................................................  8   1.2.1 Issues of Information Integration between freight company and terminal operator  .....................  8   1.2.2 Problem statement  ...........................................................................................................................................  10  

    1.3 Research Question  .................................................................................................................................  11   1.4 Purpose Statement  ................................................................................................................................  11   1.5 Research Disposition  .............................................................................................................................  11  

    Chapter 2. Methodology  ..................................................................................................................  13   2.1 Scientific perspective  ............................................................................................................................  14   2.2 Research strategy  ..................................................................................................................................  16   2.3 Scientific approach  ................................................................................................................................  17   2.4 Research design  ................................................................

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