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A semi-systematic literature review, identifying research opportunities for more sustainable, receiver-led inbound urban logistics flows to large higher education institutions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom ZunderORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021, The Author(s).Summary: This paper reports a semi-systematic literature review, identifying research opportunities for more sustainable, receiver-led, inbound logistics flows to large Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Methods: The literature - a body of 229 works - was reviewed using online scholarly databases: the NOVELOG toolkit database; a CASP checklist; followed by re-reading of the refined set of works. A two-stage approach was deployed: first scoping, using a semi-systematic approach, then a narrative review, guided by the systematic review in terms of literature survey and selection. Findings: The field was found to be emergent, with 77% of all articles published after 2011. Key concepts were identified and grouped as recurring, or with noticeable gaps - and therefore suitable for further research. The key gaps identified as worthy of note at this stage were: urban freight and procurement activity; private purchasing behaviour; HEIs and freight; barriers to sustainable procurement; engaging with Action Research in purchasing and supply chain management; little or no theory development; and the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in freight.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zunder TH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Transport Research Review

Year: 2021

Volume: 13

Print publication date: 01/12/2021

Online publication date: 17/05/2021

Acceptance date: 27/04/2021

ISSN (print): 1867-0717

ISSN (electronic): 1866-8887

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH


DOI: 10.1186/s12544-021-00487-1