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Keeping goods moving in the wake of a disaster: A qualitative study of intermodal transport

Abstract
Purpose: This paper examines what facilitates the swift reconfiguration of freight movements across transport modes in the wake of a major disaster. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research approach focussing on the New Zealand (NZ) domestic freight transport operations in the wake of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake is used with data collected through 19 interviews with 27 informants. The interviews are thematically analysed by using the framework method. Findings: The paper provides rich and detailed descriptions of the ability of a freight transport system to recover from a disaster through rapid modal shifts. This paper identifies nine factors enabling modular transport operations and highlights the critical role of physical, digital, operational and inter-organisational interconnectivity in the aftermath of a disaster. Originality/value: Although the management of freight disruptions has become a prevalent topic not only in industry and policy-making circles, but also in the academic literature, qualitative research focussing on the ability of commercial freight systems to adapt and recover from a disaster through rapid modal shifts is limited. This qualitative study sheds light on the mechanisms underlying the continuity of freight operations in the wake of a disaster and provides a comprehensive understanding of modular transport operations and the ability of freight systems to keep goods moving.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Date
2023
Publisher
Emerald
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in The International Journal of Logistics Management. © 2023 Emerald Publishing Limited.