Transportation is defined primarily as the activity of (or the system geared for) moving load (things or people) form point of origin to destination. Thus, when transportation service meets a need by moving load, then an economic demand is satisfied. The logistics management provides classified solutions within the transportation systems especially within the chain supply. Both the transportation services and logistics solutions entwine within their functions and consequent operations thereof. The extent of the relationship between the two is close such that depending on the immediate application, one of the either will be an indispensable integral of the other. Hence, the success of one has been associated with the pivotal contribution of the other.
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Cambridge International College (n.d.) notes that the factors of demand and supply have boosted the two considering the remote location of the consumer from the supply point (p.4). Exhaustion of immediate sources of goods and services has led to the hauling from remote supply. The genesis of the term logistics and its primary use was most likely in the military discipline. This is dated back either towards the end of 18TH Century or in the early times of 19TH Century. According to Tseng, Taylor & Yue (2005), analysts suggested that the nexus between the transportation and logistics management stem from the nature of transport operations within the logistics frameworks (p.1659). Key defining subsectors within transportation traverse airline services, railway transport, maritime shipping, rope delivery and pipeline conveyance.
The advancement of modus operandi and management ethic codes have enhanced the overall transit missions by reducing delivery time, influencing the quality of services offered, improving energy efficiency and technological advancement (Tseng, Taylor & Yue, p. 1667).
The focus on transportation operations and logistics management interaction biased to emerging environmental concerns begs the understanding of the typology of concerns and the intervening solutions applied. The underlying reasons as to what environmentalists fear cast over the growth and the perpetuity of coexistence of transportation services and logistics management. This may have a significant input into the future shape of the sector especially in decision platforms. However, this is not construed as if environmentalists form the offensive parties while development experts are defensive but rather a healthy debate ensuing between the two professional cycles. It is verifiably evident that the massive carbon emissions are overwhelming existing carbon sinks.
This study applies the mixed method research and the strategy of inquiry for the qualitative research component is inclined towards grounded theory but aspects of phenomenology also feature. Thus, this study has no single outright typology with more of grounded theory and less of phenomenology from its inception. The subject on interactive experiences that shared by transportation and logistics management in mainstreaming global environment concerns has hallmarks of ground theory. Understanding coexistence between transportation operations and logistics management, imperatives of environmentally friendly transportation and experiences in applying logistics solutions in spite of environment concerns may incline towards the phenomenology strategy. Theories in sustainable development emphasize on environment care in this case through environment friendly transportation operations.
Although approaches may differ, United States of America and China transportation sectors are on the verge of mainstreaming sustainable development (Atlantic Council of the United States). The “Our Common Future” report published in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission (also known as The World Commission on Environment and Development, WCED) prior to the Stockholm Conference and the declarations of the conference attest the grey areas of development. The concept of clean technology is an attempt to provide solutions to some of the central environment concerns among them in transportation operations. The clean technology campaigns drive such as in reverse logistics solutions gaining familiar ground among stakeholders (Tseng, Taylor & Yue, p.1663). ISO 14000 certification standards provide the frameworks for clean technology application.
Quantitatively, this research study will advance on the utility of the concept of ISO 14000 standards on environmental care in transportation operations and logistics management while exploring and documenting phenomena that are shaping debates within.
The strength of coexistence established by the relationship between transportation operation and logistics management is a measure of the degree of correlation. Previous studies on the cost contributed by transportation operations to cumulative logistics management expenses functionally explain the indispensable coexistence. In addition, the inference from the study has shown a positive correlation between the two as generated from the population samples collected.
Some environmentalist’s quarter perceive the current growth in the different sector economies as coming at the expense environment. In some developing country economies’, the notion among development experts has been to develop first and clean up later rather than prevent environment damage. Thus, the rate at which economic development is taking place in the said countries is higher than the environment can sustain. The transportation industry has been among the key sectors that have been blamed for the environment damage. The extent to which some of the logistics management will come in handy to provide comprehensive and lasting alternative solutions is subject to multiple variables within and without the sector.
In the contemporary world, cutting edge Information Technologies are making inroads to provide automated and up to date informative services to clients on their shipments in the track and trace applications and contributing to paperless management systems. DHL international adopts these technologies and is an exemplary case (DHL International).
Environmentalists perceive the paperless management systems to have a positive environment value addition. A more recent effort to check development sectors and see how to reverse environment damage is through the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks. Actually, a quantitative research question can explore the mainstreaming of the certification as an environment care tool by the transportation operations. The ISO 14000 series came into place to set quality benchmarks for environmentally friendly management practices. Qualitative aspects of the study explore the relationship between two variables, set certification benchmarks and state of environment care. The extent to which environment is cared for within operations of any transportation entity varies assumedly with the presence or absence of the mainstreaming of ISO 14000 certification benchmarks. In this case, it is perceived that a link exist between the two study variables. Thus, the set certification benchmarks form the independent variable while the state of environment care is a dependent variable.
On quantitative research approach, numerical evidence can show whether a transportation operator mainstreams the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks has insignificant bearing on environment care. Thus, mainstreaming of ISO 14000 certification in transportation operation are independent of each other and do not impact on either. Analysis on numerical data can also show whether those transportation operators that mainstream the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks are significantly different from those that do not with regard to environment care. Thus, it is appropriate to argue that mainstreaming the ISO certification benchmarks has a significant bearing on environment care. Furthermore, directional links exist between two variables in the involved research study, that is; they are interdependent of each other. In this case, a positive relationship is statistically testable, where those mainstreaming the ISO 14000 post reports of being environment sensitive relative to those that do not. Without making any directional relationship between the variables, numerical data can test whether there is significance difference in environmental care between ISO 14000 certified transportation operations and non-certified transportation operations.
For the quantitative research study:
The null hypotheses (Ho)
“There is no significance difference in environmental care between the ISO 14000 certified transportation operations and non-certified transportation operations”.
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The alternative hypotheses (HA1)
“There is significance difference in environmental care between ISO 14000 certified transportation operations and non-certified transportation operations”.
Finally, the non-directional hypothesis (HA2)
“Individual transport operators in fifty states in USA exhibit environment care due to mainstreaming the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks”.
Key Research Questions
Based on Mixed method, the criteria of the questions are as follows:
- First, the qualitative research questions
The central question,
“What interactive experiences are shared by transportation and logistics management in mainstreaming global environment concerns?”
- Associated Sub questions
- Why transportation operations and logistics management have coexisted?
- What environmentally friendly transportation means?
- Moreover, what has been the experience like in applying logistics solutions in spite of environment concerns?
- Second, the quantitative questions:
The descriptive questions,
- How do transportation operators in fifty states in United States of America (USA) perceive the mainstreaming of the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks?
- How do transportation operators in fifty states in United States of America (USA) perceive environment care?
- What are the aggregate numbers of transportation operators in United States of America (USA) that are achieving environmental care through mainstreaming the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks?
- What are the aggregate numbers of transportation operators in United States of America (USA) that are achieving environmental care through mainstreaming the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks?
- What are the aggregate numbers of other energy consuming industrial players that are mainstreaming the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks?
The inferential questions,
- Does mainstreaming the ISO 14000 certification benchmarks relate to environmental care by the transportation operators?
Mixed method questions blend quantitative and qualitative research questions ends. Thus, within the same mixed method research question combine qualitative and quantitative study ends. In bringing out the strengths of either qualitative or quantitative research questions for this study, both are stated together but classified and the mixed method questions left out.
Transportation sectors within country economies express strategic value addition to development. Energy (among other environment resources) is a key ingredient shaping economic development (Murphy, Poist & Braunschwieg, 1994, p.1). Any shift in position of a load is a transport entity that has economic implications. The level of transport development both infrastructure layout and technologies applied are among the indicators of the economic achievements. Massive infrastructural lay out, technological input, quality benchmarks within their transportation sector and booming activities within the sector characterize the level of the sophistication the developed countries have attained. Whether or not economic development is coming at the expense of environment is debatable. The high population numbers coupled with the growth in the economies have likely links to issues facing the environment. These are forming central issues among some environmentalist who are advancing environment care. The extent of the argument inclines on the fact that large economies are experiencing large affinities of resources to support industrial production and high living standards. These are drawing raw materials from remote sources, producing large amounts of wastes and reverting insignificant resources back to these sources. Thus, economic activities are putting pressure on nature and its resources.
The degree of justification by environmentalist against the pro development party is the overwhelming scenario posed by the prevailing environment phenomena. Arguably, transportation is the intermediary medium for delivery missions from the supply point to the demand destination. One trade off scenario that will present tough choices for a rational in addressing these issues centers on parties dilemma of forgoing development for environment care. In addition, the need to address the arising matter, at what level will the participation be at local level as well as at international level. Whether the realities of the environmental phenomena are substantial, time for action is also a key determining factor. Presently, international efforts are at the vanguards to intervene in the looming situations while individual states are showing loyalty through domestication of the agreed statutes. Whether an amicable position on environment care is on sight is a subject of whether both parties agree on pace of progress and need for further action. This begs on who is to fast track the quest for environment care; who will enforce on a level playing ground the full implementation of environment policies set. The international policy formulations have a holistic view of intergenerational and intra generational equity, better governance, income distribution, access and benefit sharing and environment care. These gears to concerns for achieving set goals for sustainable development with minimum environment interference.
Reverse logistics promote service delivery of recycling materials. This is deemed to create market opening for the third party logistics industries. The transportation sector delivers raw materials for industrial purposes. The intensity of the delivery enhances growth in the industrial sector resulting in persistent pollution problems as well as resource waste. The pursuit for raw materials by industries has exhausted the proximate supplies and now craves from the distant sources (Cambridge International College, n.d. p.4). This has led to further shaping the transportation operations and logistics solutions in the supply-chain management cycle. Sea carriers have characteristically hauled heavy cargo over long distances but at fair costs. Maritime services have economically benefited Chile with up to 90% of the international shipment (Marcela , p.2). Airfreights logistics are relatively faster, transit lighter load but at a higher cost. Airfreights logistics have regularized their operations and bid for safer haulage of fragile consignment. Land logistics have extended their services closer to the ports of entry for air and sea. E-commerce has focused on spatial outreach into regional and global coverage while integrating into its service delivery the desired industrial practices. Express logistics have focused on just in time concept of service delivery. City logistics can mainstream intelligence systems solutions in addressing traffic problems in urban settings (Giannopoulos, 2009, p. 158).
Plan for Data Collection for Mixed Method Data Collection
Adopt the sequential explanatory strategy. Collect quantitative data and analyze the consequent data. Collect quantitative data by cluster sampling method using the following criteria:
Identify the clusters to use for the survey by randomly selecting the clusters on which to concentrate. Random sampling applies at each level of the cluster, until the lowest group is sampled. Finally, carry out your survey restricting to the sample groups. National data can provide data for this kind of study. Tailored questionnaires are distributed or interviews conducted. Target persons probably those in managerial positions.
Ethical considerations during study include the following:
Begin the data collection by explaining to respondents the benefits of the research. Do not overstate or understate the study’s benefits, as this is likely to exaggerate the answers given. Explain to the respondents that their rights and wellbeing will be adequately protected by maintaining confidentiality of respondents or destroying the names or address of the respondents. Obtain the informed consent of respondents. Collect qualitative data and analyze the consequent data; plan for qualitative Study Approach.
Set the study boundaries depending on the significant extent of the concept or phenomena studied. Identify locality of the respondents or phenomena. Identify data types to base the data collection. Identify the data collection method. Data collection methods are observation, interview, documents or audio-visual materials. Collecting data through observation as a complete participant (where researcher conceals role), participant as observer (where observation role comes second to participants role), observer as participant (where the role of researcher is known) and complete observer (where researcher observers and does not participate). Interviews can be face –to- face (persons interviewing other persons), phone interviews (interview are via phone), focus group where the participants are in interviewed as a group, email or internet interview (interview is via Email or the internet). Collecting data through documents involves using public documents (e.g. minutes, newspapers) and/or private documents (e.g. diaries, journals). Data collection through audio- visual materials involves the use of photographs, videos, computer software and films. Identify data recording procedure: gather field notes based on observation; field interview questions mainly open-ended; and review audiovisual materials and documents. Undertake the data collection.
Steps for Data Analysis
The mixed method research strategy suggests a number of data analysis and validation procedures. These as given by Creswell (2009), are data transformation, exploring outliers, instrument development, examining multiple levels and creating a matrix (p.219). Data transformation procedure involves either the quantification of qualitative data or the qualification of quantitative data. Exploring outliers is a sequential process that involves a quantitative analysis of the data to reveal outliers. This is followed by carrying out qualitative interviews on the outliers. The instrument development procedure is sequential and involves carrying out a qualitative data collection exercise that results in themes and specific statements that are used later in a quantitative survey. Examining multiple levels procedure is a process that involves carrying out qualitative and quantitative procedures concurrently. Creating a matrix procedure involves combining qualitative data and quantitative data into a matrix.
This project uses the explore outliers data analysis and validation procedure. Below is a table that gives the steps used in analyzing the data collected for the project and how the steps apply to the project, research strategy and the data itself.
Table 1: Steps taken to analyze data.
|Step||How the step applies to project, research strategy and data collected|
|Choose a data analysis approach to use in analyzing the data. For this case, an Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) approach would be appropriate.||The project at this point acquires a formal approach to use in analyzing data. |
The research strategy at this point is quantitative in nature.
Data at this point forms the basis of our analysis.
|Acquire appropriate software application to analyze data.||Analysis software(s) give the project a fast, comprehensive and accurate analysis of the data. |
The research strategy at this point is quantitative in nature.
Using analysis software means that the data as to be input into a computer that as the software installed in it.
|Use software application to perform a box plot on the data||At this point, the project utilizes the services of the software to prepare a box plot that identifies outliers. |
Doing a box plot means that the research strategy at this point will be quantitative in nature.
A box plot means that data will have to be accessible to the software and well input in the software to get the desired results.
|Prepare for qualitative aspects of data collection||Planning for interviews, participation, e.t.c is done at this stage of the project. |
At this point, the research strategy starts to be qualitative in nature.
Data at this point reveals the outliers who are the target.
|Conduct data collection||At this point in the project, conducted data collection on outliers |
The research strategy at this point will be purely qualitative in nature.
Data at this point reveals the outliers who are the target of the interviews.
The first step in the table involves making a choice of the data analysis approach to use in your project. An Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) approach will be suitable for this project. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) is a data analysis approach that relies mostly in graphical techniques to analyze data. It is suitable for this project because it provides the right sequence of steps to help us analyze the data better. The first step of the sequence is to identify the problem the project seeks to study. The second step is to acquire the relevant data for the project in order to perform an analysis of it. The third step is to perform a graphic oriented analysis of the data. The fourth step is to model the data. The fifth and final step is to form inference based on the results of analysis.
The second step in the table is acquiring a software application that will assist in the data analysis process. There are various statistical analysis software applications available in the market today; they include SPSS, EPI info, Minitab, STATA etc. SPSS will be appropriate for this project. These software applications give us a speedy, accurate and comprehensive analysis of the data.
The third step as given in the table 1 above is to use the software application to perform a box plot on the data. A box plot is a graphical technique used in descriptive statistics to give a five number summary of a set of numerical data. The five values are the minimum value, 25th percentile, 50th percentile, 75th percentile and the maximum value. The box plot is particularly a suitable graphical technique for identifying outliers in a set of data. It is due to this fact that it is a better technique to use in analyzing the data.
The fourth step in as given in Table 1 above is preparing for qualitative data collection. This step will mark the beginning of the qualitative aspect of the research strategy. The aim of the analysis is to reveal outliers who are the target group for the data collection. For researcher to understand the presence of outliers in a set of data has to prepare materially and psychologically for the data collection.
The final step as given in Table 1 above is conducting the data collection. Once the researcher has prepared, the next step is to conduct the data collection. At this stage, it is important for the researcher to stick to the topic.
The definition of the term; the policy frameworks mainstreaming; the role in management of operations and the infrastructure layout application of transportation attest its typical value addition to other sectors. Modern strategic policy ends are shaping transport in line with the development agenda. The policy formulations have a holistic view of intergenerational and intergenerational equity, income distribution, access and benefit sharing and environment care. These are the main concerns for sustainable development. The entry of logistics management aimed at facilitating transportation in meeting its ends. Logistics management provides transport operations with solutions to ensure load delivery within time specifications and right destination.
Environmentalists are posing fears of irreversible environmental changes if remedial actions are not timely. A positive correlation may exist between energy input and consequent environment damage. In order to address the underlying concerns then the suggested strategies will play a big role.
Atlantic Council of the United States. (2008). U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean and Efficient Transportation. CIAO. 2009. Web.
Cambridge International College. (n.d.). Some tips on achieving high marks in your final examination. Web.
Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 3rd ed. University of Nebraska, Lincoln: SAGE Publications.
DHL International. (2010). Track DHL Express Shipments. Web.
Giannopoulos, G. (2009). Towards a European its for freight transport and logistics: results of current EU funded research and prospects for the future, Vol. 1, Web.
Marcela, C. (2009). Logistics and Transportation Investment and Opportunities. Web.
Murphy, P. R., Poist, R. F. & Braunschwieg, C. D. (1994). Management of environmental issues in logistics: current status and future potential. Web.
Tseng, Y. Taylor, M.A.P. & Yue, W. L. (2005). The Role of Transportation in Logistics Chain. Proceedings of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol. 5, Web.