Best prices Special offers for members of the PWE book club The cheapest delivery
DOI: 10.33226/1231-2037.2021.10.1
JEL: L22, L23, L66, L9

Real-time visibility transportation platform deployment. Evidence from business practice and insights for theory

The aim of the study is to contribute to supply chain visibility literature by addressing a gap between the expectations on the benefits of supply chain visibility and the successfully implemented cases. Determinants of a real- -time transportation visibility platform implementation were identified and explained and the reasons for not achieving the expected real-time visibility benefits from a platform in the transportation network with a predominant share of subcontracting were ranked. A complex network of fast-moving consumer goods companies was chosen for the research because of their greater need for visibility; visibility improvement is also more challenging for such companies. Asymmetry of risk, rewards, and benefits for freight forwarders and a real-time visibility platform hinder information sharing willingness. The in-depth analysis of entities involved in the platform deployment shows the tensions that platform governance can address. This study also provides insights on information utilization, including automating, informational, and transformational characteristics. This paper contributes to the supply chain visibility theoretical field by focusing on the practical development of real-time visibility from the standpoint of supply chain professionals.

Download article
Keywords: supply chain visibility; transportation visibility platform; supply chain; complexity; digitization



Al-Talib, M., Melhfem, W. Y., Anosike, A. I., Garza Reyes, J. A., Nadeem, S. P., Kumar, A. (2020). Achieving resilience in the supply chain by applying IoT technology. Procedia CIRP, 91, 752–757.

Anitha, K., Palaksha Reddy, K., Krishnamoorthy, N., Jaiswal, S. (2021). IoT's in enabling the supply chain visibility and connectivity and optimization of performance. Materials Today: Proceedings, S2214785320400598.

Astarita, V., Giofre, V. P., Mirabelli, G., Solina, V. (2019). A Review of Blockchain-Based Systems in Transportation. Information, 11(1), 21.

Barratt, M., Oke, A. (2007). Antecedents of supply chain visibility in retail supply chains: A resource-based theory perspective. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6), 1217–1233.

Bartlett, P. A., Julien, D. M., Baines, T. S. (2007). Improving supply chain performance through improved visibility. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 18(2), 294–313.

Brandon-Jones, E., Squire, B., Autry, C. W., Petersen, K. J. (2014). A Contingent Resource-Based Perspective of Supply Chain Resilience and Robustness. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 50(3), 55–73.

Brun, A., Karaosman, H., Barresi, T. (2020). Supply Chain Collaboration for Transparency. Sustainability, 12(11), 4429.

Brusset, X. (2016). Does supply chain visibility enhance agility? International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 46–59.

Caridi, M., Crippa, L., Perego, A., Sianesi, A., Tumino, A. (2010). Do virtuality and complexity affect supply chain visibility? International Journal of Production Economics, 127(2), 372–383.

Caridi, M., Moretto, A., Perego, A., Tumino, A. (2014). The benefits of supply chain visibility: A value assessment model. International Journal of Production Economics, 151, 1–19.

Christopher, M., Peck, H. (2004). Building the Resilient Supply Chain. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 15(2), 1–14.

Dubey, R., Altay, N., Gunasekaran, A., Blome, C., Papadopoulos, T., Childe, S. J. (2018). Supply chain agility, adaptability and alignment: Empirical evidence from the Indian auto components industry. International Journal of Operations Production Management, 38(1), 129–148.

Dubey, R., Gunasekaran, A., Childe, S. J., Papadopoulos, T., Luo, Z., Roubaud, D. (2020). Upstream supply chain visibility and complexity effect on focal company's sustainable performance: Indian manufacturers' perspective. Annals of Operations Research, 290(1–2), 343–367.

Fahim, P. B. M., An, R., Rezaei, J., Pang, Y., Montreuil, B., Tavasszy, L. (2021). An information architecture to enable track-and-trace capability in Physical Internet ports. Computers in Industry, 129, 103443.

Francis, V. (2008). Supply chain visibility: Lost in translation? Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 13(3), 180–184.

Gawer, A. (2014). Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework. Research Policy, 43(7), 1239-1249.

Giusti, R., Manerba, D., Bruno, G., Tadei, R. (2019). Synchromodal logistics: An overview of critical success factors, enabling technologies, and open research issues. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 129, 92–110.

Hajdul, M., Kawa, A. (2015). Global Logistics Tracking and Tracing in Fleet Management. In: N. T. Nguyen, B. Trawiński, R. Kosala (eds.), Intelligent Information and Database Systems (Vol. 9011, 91–199). Springer International Publishing.

He, W., Tan, E. L., Lee, E. W., Li, T. Y. (2009). A solution for integrated track and trace in supply chain based on RFID & GPS. In: 2009 IEEE Conference on Emerging Technologies Factory Automation, 1–6.

Hein, A., Schreieck, M., Riasanow, T., Setzke, D. S., Wiesche, M., Böhm, M., Krcmar, H. (2020). Digital platform ecosystems. Electronic Markets, 30(1), 87–98.

Holcomb, M. C., Ponomarov, S. Y., Manrodt, K. B. (2011). The Relationship of Supply Chain Visibility to Firm Performance. Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, 12(2), 32–45.

Jain, V., Kumar, S., Soni, U., Chandra, C. (2017). Supply chain resilience: Model development and empirical analysis. International Journal of Production Research, 55(22), 6779–6800.

Jakobs, K., Pils, C., Wallbaum, M. (2001). Using the Internet in transport logistics — The example of a Track Trace System. In: P. Lorenz (ed.), Networking — ICN 2001 (Vol. 2093, 194–203). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.

Jovanovic, M., Sjödin, D., Parida, V. (2021). Co-evolution of platform architecture, platform services, and platform governance: Expanding the platform value of industrial digital platforms. Technovation, 102218.

Kaipia, R., Hartiala, H. (2006). Information-sharing in supply chains: Five proposals on how to proceed. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 17(3), 377–393.

Kandel, C., Klumpp, D. M., Keusgen, T. (2011). GPS based track and trace for transparent and sustainable global supply chains. In: K.-D. Thoben, V. Stich, A. Imtiaz (eds.), Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising, 20–22 June 2011, 252–259. Aachen: RWTH Aachen University.

Kim, C., Shin, K. (2019). Developing Fair Investment Plans to Enhance Supply Chain Visibility Using Cooperative Games. Sustainability, 11(11), 3209.

Klumpp, M., Kandel, C. (2011). GPS-based real-time transport control for production network scheduling simulation. In: P. Navais, J. Machado, C. Analide, A. Abelha (eds.), The 2011 European Simulation and Modelling Conference, Conference Proceedings, October 24–26, 2011, 235–239. Guimaraes (Portugal): University of Mino.

Kovács, G., Spens, K. M. (2005). Abductive reasoning in logistics research. International Journal of Physical Distribution Logistics Management, 35(2), 132–144.

Lee, I., Lee, K. (2015). The Internet of Things (IoT): Applications, investments, and challenges for enterprises. Business Horizons, 58(4),


Lee, Y., Rim, S.-C. (2016). Quantitative Model for Supply Chain Visibility: Process Capability Perspective. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 1–11.

Leung, J., Chu, S.-C., Cheung, W. (2017). A Design Theory for Supply Chain Visibility in the age of Big Data. PACIS 2017 Proceedings, 218.

Mandal, S., Sarathy, R., Korasiga, V. R., Bhattacharya, S., Dastidar, S. G. (2016). Achieving supply chain resilience: The contribution of logistics and supply chain capabilities. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 7(5), 544–562.

McKinney, J. H., Radford, A., Stathacopoulos, A., Aifadopoulou, G., Giannopoulos, G. (2015). The business value of supply chain visibility and monitoring. Transportation research record. Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2479(1), 86–92.

Mini, T., Widjaja, T. (2019). Tensions in Digital Platform Business Models: A Literature Review. In: Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2019), Munich.

Mintsis, G., Basbas, S., Papaioannou, P., Taxiltaris, C., Tziavos, I. N. (2004). Applications of GPS technology in the land transportation system. European Journal of Operational Research, 152(2), 399–409.

Montecchi, M., Plangger, K., West, D. C. (2021). Supply chain transparency: A bibliometric review and research agenda. International Journal of Production Economics, 238, 108152.

Mubarik, M. S., Naghavi, N., Mubarik, M., Kusi-Sarpong, S., Khan, S. A., Zaman, S. I., Kazmi, S. H. A. (2021). Resilience and cleaner production in industry 4.0: Role of supply chain mapping and visibility. Journal of Cleaner Production, 292, 126058.

Mujuni Katunzi, T. (2011). Obstacles to Process Integration along the Supply Chain: Manufacturing Firms Perspective. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(5), p105.

Munuzuri, J., Onieva, L., Escudero, A., Cortés, P. (2016). Impacts of a tracking and tracing system for containers in a port-based supply chain. Brazilian Journal of Operations Production Management, 13(3), 352.

Näslund, D. (2002). Logistics needs qualitative research — especially action research. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 32(5), 321–338.

Nguyen, T. T. H., Taskin, N., Scahill, S., Pauleen, D. (2019). Antecedents of Supply Chain Information Visibility: The Complementarity Effect of IT Integration Capability and Interpersonal Communication Capability. 25th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2019, August 15–17, 2019, Cancún, Mexico.

Nilsson, F., Göransson, M., Bath, K. (2019). Models and technologies for the enhancement of transparency and visibility in food supply chains. In: Sustainable Food Supply Chains (219–236).

Norris, M., Oppenheim, C., Rowland, F. (2008). The citation advantage of open-access articles. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(12), 1963–1972.

Papatheocharous, E., Gouvas, P. (2011). eTracer: An innovative near-real time track-and-trace platform. 2011 15th Panhellenic Conference on Informatics, 282–286.

Pauli, T., Fielt, E., Matzner, M. (2021). Digital industrial platforms. Business Information Systems Engineering, 63(2), 181–190.

Pizzuti, T., Mirabelli, G. (2015). The Global Track&Trace System for food: General framework and functioning principles. Journal of Food Engineering, 159, 16–35.

Pradhan, S. K., Routroy, S. (2018). Improving supply chain performance by Supplier Development program through enhanced visibility. Materials Today: Proceedings, 5(2), 3629–3638.

Prajogo, D., Olhager, J. (2012). Supply chain integration and performance: The effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), 514–522.

Reuver, M. de, Sorensen, C., Basole, R. C. (2018). The Digital Platform: A Research Agenda. Journal of Information Technology, 33(2), 124–135.

Romano, P. (2003). Coordination and integration mechanisms to manage logistics processes across supply networks. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 9(3), 119–134.

Roy, V. (2021). Contrasting supply chain traceability and supply chain visibility: Are they interchangeable? The International Journal of Logistics Management, 32(3), 942–972.

Sá, M. M. de, Miguel, P. L. de S., Brito, R. P. de, Pereira, S. C. F. (2019). Supply chain resilience: The whole is not the sum of the parts.

International Journal of Operations Production Management, 40(1), 92–115.

Schreieck, M., Hakes, C., Wiesche, M., Krcmar, H. (2017). Governing Platforms in the Internet of Things. In: A. Ojala, H. Holmström

Olsson, K. Werder (eds.), Software Business (Vol. 304, 32–46). Springer International Publishing.

Shamsuzzoha, A., Ehrs, M., Addo-Tengkorang, R., Helo, P. (2021). Tracking and tracing of global supply chain network: Case study from a Finnish company: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, 118–125.

Shamsuzzoha, A. H. M., Ehrs, M., Tenkorang, R. A., Nguyen, D., Helo, P. T. (2013). Performance evaluation of tracking and tracing for logistics operations. International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 5(1), 31.

Shamsuzzoha, A., Helo, P. T. (2011). Real-time Tracking and Tracing System: Potentials for the Logistics Network. In: Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, January 22–24, 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Shou, Y., Zhao, X., Dai, J., Xu, D. (2021). Matching traceability and supply chain coordination: Achieving operational innovation for superior performance. Transportation Research. Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 145, 102181.

Somapa, S., Cools, M., Dullaert, W. (2011). Real-time supply chain visibility — the business values and the antecedents of successful implementation — a conceptual framework. Proceedings of the Vervoerslogistieke Werkdagen, December 1–2, 2011, 349–375.

Somapa, S., Cools, M., Dullaert, W. (2018). Characterizing supply chain visibility — a literature review. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 29(1), 308–339.

Tse, Y. K., Tan, K. H. (2012). Managing product quality risk and visibility in multi-layer supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics, 139(1), 49–57.

Vass, T. de, Shee, H., Miah, S. J. (2020). Iot in supply chain management: A narrative on retail sector sustainability. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 1–20.

Wang, Y., Potter, A. (2007). The application of real time tracking technologies in freight transport. In: 2007 Third International IEEE Conference on Signal-Image Technologies and Internet-Based System, 298–304.

Wei, H.-I. Wang, E. T. G. (2007). Creating strategic value from supply chain visibility — the dynamic capabilities view. In: 2007 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'07), 7–7.

Wei, H.-L., Wang, E. T. G. (2010). The strategic value of supply chain visibility: Increasing the ability to reconfigure. European Journal of Information Systems, 12.

Yang, M., Fu, M., Zhang, Z. (2021). The adoption of digital technologies in supply chains: Drivers, process and impact. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 169, 120795.

Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications. Design and methods. Sage Publications.

Article price
Price of the magazine number
113.00 €
Lowest price in last 30 days: 91.00
get subscription