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Identifying Dominant Stakeholder Perspectives on Sustainability Issues in Reefer Transportation. A Q-Method Study in the Port of Rotterdam

by 1,2,*, 2,3,4 and 1,2
1
Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 50, 3062PA Burgemeester Oudlaan, The Netherlands
2
Project EURECA (Effective Use of Reefer Containers through the Port of Rotterdam—A Transition Oriented Approach), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NL-2509 AC The Hague, The Netherlands
3
Research Centre for Sustainable Port Cities, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, RDM-kade 59, 3089JR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4
Department of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, 2628BX Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3425; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123425
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Freight Transport & Logistics)
Driven by global climate concerns, seaports have formulated sustainability goals, which also require sustainability gains in the fast growing temperature-controlled logistics market—increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, and streamlining logistics processes. This, however, requires cooperation and buy-in from a wide range of stakeholders. To explore the barriers and facilitators of such a transition, we map the interests and attitudes of cold chain actors in the Port of Rotterdam regarding sustainability issues in reefer transportation and cold chains. We identify a limited number of broadly shared perspectives using Q-methodology—a survey-based method to study subjective viewpoints (originating from psychology) that has been used only rarely in the freight transport field. The analysis yields four ‘dominant’ perspectives that together account for 46% of the variation among stakeholder viewpoints. We label these perspectives “sustainability as part of strategy”, “short term constraints”, “optimistic about technology, limited role for policy”, and “long run willingness under risk avoidance.” These perspectives are characterized by multiple factors, including the evaluation of organizational capabilities, expectations from policymakers and technology, and the time horizon stakeholder organizations consider regarding sustainability concerns. From the findings, we derive recommendations for managers and policy makers to facilitate stakeholder dialogue and possibly convergence and coalition building. View Full-Text
Keywords: container transport; reefer containers; cold chain; ports; port policy; Q methodology container transport; reefer containers; cold chain; ports; port policy; Q methodology
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Castelein, B.; van Duin, R.; Geerlings, H. Identifying Dominant Stakeholder Perspectives on Sustainability Issues in Reefer Transportation. A Q-Method Study in the Port of Rotterdam. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3425.

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