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Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

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Computers in Industry
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compind

Decentralized intelligence in freight transportA critical review


Henrik Sternberg a,*, Magnus Andersson b
a
b

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Design Sciences, Division of Packaging Logistics, Box 118, Lund 22100, Sweden
Viktoria Institute, Lindholmspiren 3A, Gothenburg 41756, Sweden

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history:
Received 4 October 2012
Received in revised form 19 September 2013
Accepted 12 November 2013
Available online 11 December 2013

The purpose of this paper is to provide a research outlook on the concept of decentralized freight
intelligence, i.e. autonomous freight making localized routing decisions. A review of research literature
on decentralized intelligence in freight transport serves as the foundation of the analysis. The analysis
reveals a scarcity of scientic evidence to suggest a successful introduction of decentralized freight
intelligence. Among numerous conceptual ndings, the analysis reveals a dearth of research on the clear
and present challenges of introducing and adopting decentralized freight concepts in contemporary
multi organizational open freight systems. For practitioners this paper provides useful input on future
ICT development in the transport eld. In particular, due to the lack of guidance on adoption of
decentralized freight, a focus on non-networked benets of information technology is to be
recommended. Given the large number of projects, papers and various initiatives related to
decentralized freight intelligence, this paper, to the authors best knowledge, provides a novel
technology adoption perspective on decentralized freight intelligence research.
2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Transport operations
Intelligent Cargo
Efciency
RFID

1. Introduction
From their experimental beginnings in the early 90s, the
computerization of our material surroundings, or ubiquitous
computing [1], has sprouted a wealth of venues for research into
radical concepts in various industries [2]. This paper reviews one
such concept within the freight industry.
In their quest for higher freight transport efciency, many
authorities and organisations pay increasing interest to Information Systems (IS), Information Communication Technology (ICT)
and Intelligent Transport System (ITS) (e.g., [3,4]). An innovative
concept that has received a lot of attention is the concept of
decentralized intelligence in freight transport. Applying ICT with a
higher degree of sophistication than what is currently the
standard, is assumed to have large potential on environment
and efciency [5]. Indeed, as early as 2004, Scholz-Reiter et al.
hypothesized that . . .due to the dynamic and structural complexity of todays logistics systems and networks, central planning and
control of logistic processes becomes increasingly difcult. Thus,
decentralised and autonomous control of logistics processes is
required ([25], p. 357). Indeed, bold visions of a radically altered
future of freight have been following; In ve years time most of
the goods owing through European freight corridors will be

intelligent, i.e.: self-aware, context-aware and connected through


a global telecommunication network to support a wide range of
information services for logistic operators, industrial users and
public authorities [6]. This area of research has not passed
unnoticed by industry. In a speech about future technology
development Leif Johansson (chairman of Ericsson, former CEO of
Volvo AB) stated that freight being capable of making decisions will
enable higher ll rates and a more efcient freight transport
system [7], and he is certainly not alone (see e.g. [8,9]).
Considering the trend of increasing ubiquity of information
technology (IT) in transportation [10], is decentralized freight
intelligence a preferred direction to increase efciency in freight
transport? By reviewing the research on decentralized freight
intelligence, the aim of this paper is to provide a critical viewpoint
on the potential of the concept as reported in the literature and to
point to some critical areas for future scientic investigations.
We proceed with a denition of decentralized freight intelligence based on current literature and some delimitations. We then
describe our research design and analysis of decentralized freight
intelligence literature. Following, we discuss the apparent lack of
research on decentralized freight intelligence adoption and
conclude with some suggestions of research approaches and
venues.
1.1. Denitions and delimitations

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +46 723612556.


E-mail addresses: henrik.sternberg@plog.lth.se, sternbeh@gmail.com
(H. Sternberg).
0166-3615/$ see front matter 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2013.11.011

Over the years concepts related to decentralized freight systems


have acquired an extensive nomenclature that includes Intelligent

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

Cargo, Smart Freight, Intelligent Goods, self-controlling goods and


others [11]. While most of them can be traced to e.g. Weiser, we
will show some examples. According to the European Commission,
Intelligent Cargo implies that . . .goods become self-, context- and
location-aware as well as connected to a wide range of information
services ([5], p. 8). Intelligent Cargo extends the concept of agentbased autonomous control, encompassing intelligence, i.e., Cargo
is able to invoke services and start processes autonomously in
response to predened events [12].
As an industrial application of pervasive computing, most
research on decentralized freight intelligence use the classications of intelligent products brought forward by McFarlane et al.
[13]. Lumsden and Stefansson ([14], p.7) and Meyer et al. [15] (the
latter being an intelligent products paper) both use a list of features
from McFarlane et al. [13], proposing the following generic
characteristics:






a unique identity;
the capability of communicating with its environment;
the storing of data about itself;
a language to display its features, production requirements, etc.;
directly participates in or makes decisions relevant to its own
routing, etc.

The denitions mentioned above all share the idea of goods


processing information and making decisions.1 Hence an ICT
solution using RFID and Barcode tags (simply storing an identity
interpreted by an information system), might per denition be
intelligent, but in isolation, the individual goods (e.g., shipments,
boxes, etc.) are not intelligent. In this paper we will refer to goods
without processing as tagged goods. Solutions and concepts
using trailers and/or containers with information processing
capabilities [16,17] are likewise considered as intelligent systems
with intelligent resources, but still with tagged goods.
This paper focuses on efciency aspects of decentralized
intelligence in freight transport, i.e., societal, security and safety
aspects are not addressed. Goods transport by road, rail, sea or air
was in focus, i.e., local movement of goods within one facility (e.g.,
literature on Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)) was excluded.
We include virtual decentralized freight intelligence, e.g.,
freight making decisions with a local scope through an enabler
(e.g., an on-board unit of a truck) in our denition of decentralized
freight intelligence, whereas trucks and load-units (e.g., trailers
and containers) containing sensors and carrying e.g., RFID-tagged
goods [18], are per se not viewed as decentralized freight
intelligence.
Concepts associated with decentralized freight intelligence are
by no means synonymous to it. E.g., Intelligent Cargo is
increasingly used to denote tagged goods with freight information
services associated to it, i.e., a virtualization of LSP services and
Smart Goods often refer only to RFID-tags [19]. As Intelligent
Cargo frequently denotes intelligent systems using tagged
goods rather than actual decentralized decision capabilities, the
authors would like to strongly emphasize that this paper is solely
intended to address decentralized freight intelligence in transport
operations, e.g., goods with actual or virtual information
processing capabilities.
The concept of Intelligent products have been addressed by
several authors and evolved over the past decade (e.g., [18,2022]).
Early papers on the concept (e.g., [23]) encompass the idea of some
degree of autonomous control [15]. In research described in e.g.
Framling et al. [24] and Holmstrom et al. [17], prototypes and tests
1
Actual intelligence as what is sought by e.g. articial intelligence clearly lies
beyond the scope of this terminology. However, we will utilize terminology that
exists in our target literature: intelligent cargo.

307

of business models have used RFID tags containing a numeric ID


and in some cases other data and no decentralized decisionmaking on product level. In the roadmap for future research by
Holmstrom et al. [18] as well as in other recent publications on
intelligent products, the researchers do recommend using agent
technology for linking tracking applications but highlight that the
major challenge for intelligent products lie in solving the
interoperability standard issues. The challenge of multiple
information systems needing to communicate to enable advanced
applications of Intelligent products was further highlighted by, e.g.,
Framling et al. [22].
2. Research design
The introduction outlined several labels used over the past
decade to denote conceptual systems using decentralized freight
intelligence. To nd relevant literature, the authors used Google
scholar and extensive discussions with some 30 researchers and
practitioners from both information systems and logistics and
transport sciences. In the literature review, the authors extensively
applied the ancestry approach to existing literature sources, in
particular to papers referenced extensively (e.g., [25]). The focus of
the literature review was on selecting peer-reviewed literature (i.e.,
journal articles, edited book sections and peer-reviewed conference
proceedings). A minor number of other publications were included,
due to being either extensively referenced, used as evidence for the
feasibility of decentralized freight or for giving a more detailed
description of the concept and its design. Decentralized freight
capabilities have received attention in several countries and the
literature review revealed publications written in English, German
and Swedish. We found a number of phrasings specically
addressing decentralized freight capabilities:










Autonomous [Logistics/Transport] Processes [2533].


Intelligent Cargo [8,9,21,34].
Intelligent Freight Objects [35].
Intelligent Goods [3640].
Intelligent Parcel [31].
Selbststeuernder logistischer Objekte [4144].
Smart Goods [11,4547].
Smart Freight [14,4855].
Smart Parts [56,57].

The analysed decentralized freight intelligence papers are listed


in Appendix A. In addition, all the analysed papers on decentralized
freight intelligence are part of the list of references. The papers
were classied based on their research approach.
The authors of this paper are coming from the supply chain
management and information systems (IS) disciplines respectively. Both have been heavily involved in and nanced by research
projects on decentralized freight intelligence.
3. Literature review
Reviewing the literature, we found six variants of methodological approaches; non-empirical conceptual, numerical experiment,
prototype study, case based conceptual, case/interview based
conceptual, and interview based conceptual quantitative. The
distribution of research approaches and outlets are shown in
Table 1. Conceptual research is clearly dominant and empirical
approaches are, in particular those employing actual tests or
prototyping, though present, less commonly employed.
The remainder of this section is structured as follows. First we
give an outline of the literature on decentralized freight intelligence. Since the focus of this paper is on the feasibility of the
concept, particular attention is paid to the anticipated effects on

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

308
Table 1
Distribution of research approaches and outlets.
Types of publications

Summary of
research outlets

Non-empirical Conceptual
Numerical experiment
Prototype study

19
2
2

Case based conceptual


Case/interview based
Conceptual
Interview based
conceptual quantitative

10
4

Peer reviewed journal


Edited book section
Peer-reviewed
conference proceedings
Thesis
Report

12
4
13
5
2

transport efciency. Decentralized concepts as outlined, posit that


information usage in decision-making is key to transport efciency.
We then proceed to discuss decentralized freight intelligence in
terms of transport planning and control in supply chain management, semantics and information locus and diffusion of radical
networked innovation [5860].
3.1. Decentralized freight intelligence in the literature
Decentralized freight intelligence implies that the way freight
transport is controlled will evolve, from a top-down control to a
bottom-up approach, with the intelligent units contacting a higher
level when necessary, as illustrated in Fig. 1. Several papers and
reports have suggested frameworks and infrastructures from a
logistics (e.g., [48,53]) or information systems (e.g., [34,40])
perspective.and reports have suggested frameworks
Out of the 38 publications considered, 34 were classied as
conceptual papers. Out of the remaining papers, 2 were nonempirical numerical experiments and 2 were prototype studies
(see Appendix A). Since a majority of the analyzed papers were
referring to one of two specic conceptual papers, those two
papers can be interpreted as being fundamental to the evolution of
the decentralized freight intelligence concept.
Scholz-Reiter et al. [25] is a non-empirical conceptual paper
that discusses decentralization based on the assumption that
decentralization is needed to handle complexity in logistics

Fig. 1. How control differs in current and future decentralized freight intelligence.
Conceptualization gure from [14].

processes. They outline the new demands on logistics processes


in line with the perspective of autonomous control of logistics
processes. The conceptual paper of Lumsden and Stefansson [14]
presents a framework for smart control (see Fig. 1). Lumsden and
Stefansson apply a freight-centric view on logistics and propose
decentralized freight intelligence to improve efciency of freight
transport, but acknowledge that the trucking companies interviewed were sceptical to having the freight controlling parameters
of the truck.
Several of the conceptual papers were case or interview based,
i.e., the authors outline that they have carried out a case or
interview study of existing practice and then describe how
processes could be affected, if decentralized freight intelligence
would have been in place.
Sternberg [50], Stefansson [54] and Hagen [61] claim transport
efciency as an effect of decentralized freight intelligence. Their
effects were identied based on single case studies and interviews.
Huschebeck et al. [8] is to our best knowledge the most
comprehensive report on decentralized freight intelligence available. The report states various quantitative benets, e.g., reduced
administration, reduced driven kilometres etc. Huschebeck et al.
also present the estimated costs for implementing an intelligent
cargo system. Their study was based on 15 interviews.
Except for Huschebeck et al. [8], only Hongler et al. [57] and
Rekersbrink et al. [42] address the concept quantitatively. Hongler
et al. [57] carried out a non-empirical experiment on decentralized
control in transportation and Rekersbrink et al. [42] applied fuzzy
logic to evaluation of sensor temperatures.
Notably, several papers state sustainability as the main driver
for implementing decentralized freight intelligence. Sternberg
et al. [9] and Stefansson and Hagen [62] outline several
environmental benets from decentralized freight intelligence in
the context of an intelligent transport system. Based on two
qualitative case studies (not empirical data on actual effects)
Sternberg et al. state that decentralized freight intelligence
decrease environmental impact from freight transport through
increasing ll-rates and enabling goods-level environmental
monitoring and follow-up. On a similar vein, Ehnert et al. [27]
reasons that ALP (Autonomous Logistics Processes) can foster
sustainable transport operations. Their paper is not based on
empirical data.

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

Likely to be the worlds largest center for research on


decentralized freight intelligence is Collaborative Research Center
637 (CRC637, In German: SFB637 Sonderforschungsbereich 637),
located in Bremen, Germany [63]. As of 2012, CRC637 has
produced over 100 journal publications and over 400 conference
articles. A majority of these papers deal with decentralized
intelligence within the boundaries of a manufacturing network,
a facility or a terminal, but some address decentralized freight
intelligence (e.g., [31]).
CRC637 has performed tests of decentralized freight intelligence,
beyond desktop studies. Jedermann and Lang [31] concludes: The
application eld of the intelligent parcel is mainly limited to
settings where a high amount of local information has to be
processed, like in the supervision of perishable products. In other
applications it needs to be questioned whether it is worth extending
the communication path by exchanging information and the results
of the decision process with the parcel. This might be only the case
when company information should be kept condential inside the
processing unit of the parcel. Other tasks, for instance parts of
the route planning, can be better performed on the level of the means
of transport (p. 120).
In addition to the scientic works (listed in Appendix A) on
decentralized freight intelligence, a large body of work has been
carried out in various research projects. Euridice [12], mentioned
in the introduction, was a large-scale research project on
decentralized freight intelligence. The Euridice consortium carried
out several pilot tries on decentralized freight intelligence [64],
outlining benets found in literature on e.g. advanced tracking
systems [17].
4. Adopting decentralized freight intelligence
We will now show some crucial challenges where decentralized
freight intelligence would be a radical departure from entrenched
business processes in the freight industry, should it ever be
implemented. We will then discuss decentralized freight intelligence in terms of general theory on diffusion of radical innovation
to shed light on such challenges.
4.1. Transport planning and control in supply chain management
In supply chain management (SCM), a trade-off between
centralised and decentralised control of transport is made, i.e.,
centralised transport planning needs more information, is more
expensive than decentralised transport planning, but is relatively
more efcient and generates less environmental impact. Studies on
central collaborative planning and coordination spanning over
organisational borders show clear and signicant improvements in
ll rates [65,66] and in particular in the performance of transport
planning [67]. Esper and Williams [90] showed that CTM
(Collaborative Transport Management) increased transport efciency with more than 10% and stated: Overall, CTM through
information systems improves the operations and efciency of all
entities involved in transport planning (p. 9).
The literature review of decentralized freight intelligence
pointed to anticipated benets such as reduced driving distance,
higher ll-rate, reduced administration, and increased security. A
closer look into the publications on potential benets of
decentralized freight intelligence, reveal very sparse empirical
evidence. Decreasing driving distance from decentralized freight
intelligence (e.g., [9]) is in stark contrast to well-established theory
on decreasing driving distance from centralizing planning of
freight transport (e.g., [68,67]). Several publications are based on
the assumption that decentralized freight intelligence will increase
information availability and thus enable more frequent freight
consolidation and higher ll rates (e.g., [8]). However, freight

309

operators avoid loading and unloading operations in the rst place.


The primary reason is the extensive time need for loading/
unloading operations [69]. Damages and theft are additional
factors causing freight operators to avoid shipment consolidation.
Technically, decentralized decision making is difcult to
implement even within the boundaries of a manufacturing facility.
Shen et al. [70] found that: For most industrial applications, it is
extremely difcult or even impossible to correctly determine the
behaviour and concrete activities of an agent-based manufacturing
system a priori, that is, at the time of its design and prior to its
use. In fact, most changes and disturbances in manufacturing
environments are not predictable in advance (p. 425). In the
transport system, multiple actors and their choices as well as the
lack of clear boundaries between them add several dimensions of
planning complexity compared to the dened boundaries of
manufacturing [71,72].
Pilots, carried out during 20102011, demonstrated how
decentralized freight intelligence reduces freight administration
[64]. Yet, these results do not represent any improvement
compared to previous pilot studies that have eliminated freight
administration through information sharing enabled by, e.g., RFIDtags and on-board units, i.e., the decentralized freight intelligence
in itself has generally not demonstrated any clear benets apart
from those found in track and trace applications.
4.2. Semantics and information locus
Timely and adequate information is crucial to enable efcient
transport planning [68]. Taking off in the early nineties, the
information infrastructure, e.g. the Internet and associated
component technologies form the foundations of future freight
systems. Information infrastructure and standards are closely
related. Such standards are either agnostic to the content of any
information packets they are sending on, such as e.g. the IP-stack,
or a message that is a social construction and that strives to
regulate behaviour or processes, such as e.g. a freight management
system.
Many view this semantic layer of information sharing a primary
issue for freight applications [73] and academics have lately raised
this issue (e.g., [7477]). Zygmunt [75] emphasize that to improve
transport operations, semantics rather than enabling technology is
what is currently missing and states: Automatic interoperability. . . look quite complicated at this moment and the only
chance for them to be widely used is that (by massive usage) the
tools will become good enough to hide internal complexity from
the end-users (p. 145).
Concurrently, cloud computing aims to empower the mobile
user by providing a seamless and rich functionality, regardless of
the resource limitations of local mobile devices [78]. As high speed
mobile communications infrastructure expand and becomes
cheaper, the distinction of local and global processing will become
unimportant to a great many commercial applications, thus
removing a key argument for decentralized freight intelligence
in much of the reviewed literature.
4.3. Diffusion of radical networked IT innovation
After many years of research, there are few, small, and isolated
examples of intelligent goods applications. The literature review
revealed a consensus on the concepts dependence on mass
adoption to reach the anticipated benets (see e.g. [8]). However,
none of the 38 publications in our review discusses how
decentralized freight can be adopted by the logistics industry,
though some authors mention certain aspects of adoption
challenges [27,14]. Even in these cases, diffusion challenges are
not part of empirical research ndings and decentralized freight is

310

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

mostly assumed to having already been successfully introduced at


some point in the future. We argue that this is a major omission.
Decentralized intelligence in logistics can be viewed as a
disruptive architectural innovation [79] operating on an ITinfrastructure level (cf. [80]), displaying massive network effects
[81] that has not yet materialized. Lyytinen and Rose [58] dene
disruptive IT innovation as an architectural innovation of
information technology that has subsequent impacts on processes
and their outcomes. These base innovations establish necessary
but not sufcient conditions for subsequent innovation behaviors.
In this vein, base technologies such as RFID or agent based
modeling may indeed be both necessary and available. However, our
review clearly shows that this has thus far not been sufcient to
translate into industry wide adoption of functioning decentralized
freight intelligence. Indeed, IT innovation in the freight industry is
characterized by highly complex arrangements of heterogeneous
organizations and incentives that are not conducive to the
collaborative strategies that decentralized freight dictates [74].
Radical innovations constitute a break with norms such as
these, whether in the design of a physical product or a service.
Indeed, as opposed to incremental, piecemeal evolution, a
disruptive innovation destroys established knowledge, processes
and routines within an industry [82]. Established norms and
routines as expressed in operating business models can therefore
be expected to resist it. This ultimately ends in the demise of
resisting organizations unable to embrace the radical innovation.
However, to date there is no known method of knowing
beforehand what will ultimately become a successful radical
innovation and what will seem to be perhaps necessary but not
sufcient factors [58]. Current decentralized freight concepts seem
to fall into this category.
The crucial importance of network effects mean that decentralized freight intelligence will must be adopted throughout the
entire environment to operate successfully. A lone package will not
provide the anticipated local routing benets. Entire logistical
ows must be enabled. A typical freight business model
incorporates several layers of semi-independent organizational
actors of varying degrees of competition in each layer [72].
Depending on the complexity of the particular business model,
such an adoption process can be daunting in all but the most local
and secluded applications.
In the struggle between entrenched business models and
radical innovations, perceptions of e.g. product design is actually
gradually changed as a radical innovation gains in popularity [83].
As an example, mobility as introduced to computing by the rst
laptops gradually overtook the stationary PC industry, though
processing power and other traditional metrics are still generally
better. However, such transformations are time consuming and are
not obviously applicable to the required big bang introduction of
decentralized freight intelligence.
The oft cited Metcalfs law dictates a clear connection between
individual and network gains. The more individuals that use any
given sociotechnical network, the more it is worth to any given
user. This may be viewed as a clear case for decentralized freight
intelligence. However, exclusivity rather than universal membership, may be a desired feature of some networks, [84]. In our case,
rms may well opt out of any inter-organisational decentralized
freight intelligence collaboration for rational prot maximization
reasons. Later efforts to attract other actors to a unilateral initiative
will likely be highly problematic both on a competitive level, as
logistic rms strive to control their own business processes, as well
as on a regulative level, as legislators strive to avoid monopolistic
dominance.
The rst step towards large scale or universal adoption requires
a clearly visible gain also in the early stages when network effects
may not be strong enough [59]. A practical example, Waze, is a

crowd sourced navigation app based not only on user input, but
also on freely available map data. The user can thus interact with
the service and gain utility even though the crowd sourced data,
reliant on network effects, has not yet reached useful levels in his
or her area.
This bootstrapping effect [85] is not evident in the case of
decentralized freight intelligence. Large scale decentralized
intelligence systems will therefore likely require a massive positive
network utility as soon as they are initiated. While this does not
necessarily invalidate the approach, it does pose some difcult
questions as to what type of settings and scopes current
conceptualizations of decentralized freight intelligence can be
applied successfully.
5. Concluding discussion
This paper aimed at providing a critical viewpoint on the
potential of decentralized freight intelligence. Through a review of
existing publications, we found that: (1) The networked nature of
the concept entails that critical mass must be achieved. Current
conceptualizations dictate that this must take place without the
benet of any substantial non-networked usefulness identied. (2)
To achieve the promised increase in ll-rate, technologies and
procedures have to solve the challenges of freight handling. (3) We
have been unable to nd any compelling evidence of increased
transport efciency, even if (1) and (2) are met. Massive costs,
complex organizational contexts and the absence of functional
processes for multi-organizational adoption of decentralized
freight intelligence are profound challenges, thus far not addressed
by research.
5.1. Policy and managerial implications
Theory on how people and organisations adapt and implement
new technology, suggests that protable investment in a
technology depending on critical mass, often needs some
perceived usefulness already on the individual level. Hence our
recommendation to companies and policy makers interested in
decentralized freight intelligence is to focus on ICT innovations
that display usefulness on an individual level rst and foremost.
Centralized transport planning and cloud computing display a
trend towards centralization of computing rather than decentralization, or at best, the dichotomy centralized/decentralized may
prove false in many ways, as communication between the local and
global becomes a non-issue.
5.2. Theoretical implications and future research
Given the lack of empirical research on practical processes of
decentralized freight intelligence adoption, we suggest that this is
investigated thoroughly in future research.
Design driven pragmatic research coupled to a rigorous
methodological foundation, such as a design research framework
[86], or action oriented yet rigorous and theory based studies of
organizational adoption [87,88] are suggested as suitable methods
to employ.
A useful starting point, referring back to section 4, could be
investigating how IT services on the individual level (i.e. not
dependent on network effects and critical mass) could be utilized
to bootstrap [85] decentralized freight intelligence, or updated
conceptualizations, at a later stage.
Indeed, the Internet as well as the rapid adoption rates and
developments in mobile computing can be attributed to the
universal versatility of the underlying platforms [58,89]. They are
capable of performing tasks not anticipated by their designers, and
attracting users through a near innity of use patternsnetworked

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

and local alike. If such versatility can be incorporated into future


conceptualizations of decentralized freight intelligence, this could
be a promising means of introduction into a centralized freight
paradigm.

311

Appendix A
See Table A1.

Table A1
Full listing of material considered for the analysis.
Outlet

Authors

Approach

Title

Journal paper

Ehnert et al.

Year
2006

Non-empirical Conceptual

Journal paper

Hongler et al.

2010

Numerical experiment

Journal paper

Jedermann and Lang

2010

Prototype study

Journal paper

Langer et al.

2006

Case based conceptual

Journal paper
Journal paper
Journal paper

Lumsden and Stefansson


Rekersbrink et al.
Scholz-Reiter et al.

2007
2007
2006

Case based conceptual


Numerical experiment
Non-empirical conceptual

Journal paper
Journal paper
Journal paper

Scholz-Reiter et al.
Scholz-Reiter et al.
Stefansson and Lumsden

2007
2009
2009

Non-empirical conceptual
Non-empirical conceptual
Non-empirical conceptual

Journal paper

Sternberg et al.

2010

Case based conceptual

Journal paper

Wycisk et

2008

Non-empirical conceptual

Edited book section

Ehnert et al.

2007

Non-empirical conceptual

Edited book section

Hammer et al.

2005

Non-empirical conceptual

Edited book section


Edited book section

Jevinger et al.
Jevinger et al.

2011a
2011b

Non-empirical conceptual
Non-empirical conceptual

Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Peer-reviewed conference
proceedings
Conference proceedings
Conference proceedings

Hagen et. Al.

2009

Case based conceptual

A sustainable management framework for dilemma and


boundaries in autonomous cooperating transport logistics
processes
Centralized versus decentralized controla solvable
stylized model in transportation
Transport supervision of perishable goods by context aware
objects
A framework for distributed knowledge management in
autonomous logistic processes
Smart freight to enhance control of supply chains
Entscheidungen selbststeuernder logistischer Objekte
Kooperierende Routingprotokolle zur Selbststeuerung von
Transportprozessen
Selbststeuerung in der betrieblichen Praxis
Engineering autonomously controlled logistic systems
Performance issues of smart transportation management
systems
Intelligent cargo enabling futures sustainable and
accountable transportation system
Smart parts supply networks as complex adaptive
systems: analysis and implications
Nachhaltigkeit, Widerspruche und Selbststeuerung in der
Transportlogistik
Distributed knowledge management in the transportation
domain
A framework for agent-based modeling of intelligent goods
A method for identifying and evaluating architectures of
intelligent goods services
Freight handling the smarter way

Jedermann and Lang

2008

Prototype study

Jevinger et al.

2009

Non-empirical conceptual

The benets of embedded intelligence tasks and


applications for ubiquitous computing in logistics
Analysis of intelligent goods and local decision making

Jevinger et al.

2010

Non-empirical conceptual

Analysis of transport services based on intelligent goods

Scholz-Reiter et al.

2004

Non-empirical conceptual

Scholz-Reiter et al.

2010

Non-empirical conceptual

Schuhmacher et al.

2009

Non-empirical conceptual

Stefansson

2010

Stefansson and Hagen

2009

Stefansson and Hagen

2010

Stefansson and Woxenius

2008

Case/interview based
conceptual
Case/interview based
conceptual
Case/interview based
conceptual
Case based conceptual

Stefansson et al.

2007

Case based conceptual

Autonomous logistic processes new demands and rst


approaches
Flexible product allocation in distribution processes in an
apparel supply chain
Euridice mobile agents architecture for distributed
intelligence
The potential effects of advanced transportation
management on transport operations
The effects of smart transportation management on
transport operations, environment and safety/security
The functionality of smart infrastructure and the effects on
transport operations
The concept of smart freight transport systems the Road
Hauliers perspective
Smart logistics systems SLS

Van Belle et al.

2011

Non-empirical conceptual

Andersson and Ekwall


Bemeleit et al.

2005
2008

Non-empirical conceptual
Non-empirical conceptual

Thesis
Thesis

Franze and Husemann


Hagen

2003
2011

Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Report

Karimibabak
Mirzabeiki
Sternberg
Huschebeck et al.

2005
2010
2008
2009

Case based conceptual


Case/interview based
conceptual
Case based conceptual
Case based conceptual
Case based conceptual
Interview based conceptual
quantitative

Report

Lumsden and Karimibabak

2005

al.

Non-empirical conceptual

Intelligent products in the supply chain are merging logistic


and manufacturing operations
Smart gods - ur ett systemperspektiv
Risikomanagement fur selbststeuernde logistische
Transportprozesse
When the freight will talk. . .smart goods in supply chains
Exploring support infrastructures for freight transport
operations
Intelligenta RFID system
The value of ITS on supply chain operations
Freight transportation operations and information sharing
Intelligent cargo systems study (ICSS): impact assessment
study on the introduction of intelligent cargo systems in
transport logistics industry
Distributed RFID systems for supply chains intelligent
freight solutions

312

H. Sternberg, M. Andersson / Computers in Industry 65 (2014) 306313

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Dr. Henrik Sternberg has a PhD in logistics from


Chalmers University of Technology and is currently a
post-doctoral researcher at Lund University, Faculty of
Engineering, Division of Packaging Logistics. His research focuses on intelligent transportation systems,
freight distribution efciency and transport policy and
innovation. Dr. Sternberg has led and been involved in
numerous national and international research and
policy advisory projects. He is also the inventor and
owner of the smartphone apps Cabotagestudien and
Stardriver. Dr. Sternbergs research is published in
journals such as Journal of Business Logistics, Computers in Industry, International Journal of Logistics:
Research and Applications and International Journal of
Productivity and Performance Management.

Dr. Magnus Andersson has a PhD in informatics from


Gothenburg University and currently heads the Digitalization Strategy application area at Viktoria Swedish
ICT. His research focuses on open innovation using
mobile digital services with a particular emphasis on
transport and automotive industries. The research is
action oriented and Magnus has lead several ITS-related
research projects and assisted in formulating national
strategies. He has published his research in journals and
proceedings such as Information Systems Journal,
Journal of Strategic Information Systems, ICIS and ECIS.