Barriers to change in urban freight systems: a systematic literature review

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to contribute to the knowledge about barriers to change in urban freight systems and to support managed changes toward more sustainable urban freight systems. Method: This paper is based on a systematic review covering 93 peer-reviewed journal articles. The study was designed to advance earlier research in this area by providing a system perspective on barriers to development in urban freight systems. The theoretical knowledge about these barriers was analyzed and synthesized, the relationships between barriers explored, and the insights developed into a model of understanding of managed change processes in urban freight systems. Findings: From a system perspective 11 categories of barriers to change in urban freight systems were identified and characterized. The barriers are, in different ways, related both to each other and to a managed change process for sustainable development of urban freight systems. A model for understanding categories of barriers and their connection to managed change processes in urban freight systems is proposed in this paper. The model consists of three groups of barriers within the process, and two groups in the system context, which should be addressed with different priorities in a managed change process. The study identifies several future research options. Future research could support the development of sustainable urban freight systems by providing insights into change process governance, potentially by combining theory from areas like organization, systems, and networks with the system perspective on urban freight systems. Research on non-European urban freight systems could increase the scholarly insights about contextual impact on barriers and change processes. Future studies could also explore methods to mitigate identified barriers, especially in the areas of cooperation, organization, politics, knowledge, and the first mover disadvantage. Finally, future research should continue to develop the model of the managed change process for urban freight systems and its use in supporting sustainable development of these systems.


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  • Accession Number: 01853518
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2022 4:55PM