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  • Editors’ Introduction

The Spring 2016 issue of the Transportation Journal presents an array of articles that seemingly examine disparate research topics. A closer look reveals, however, that each of the articles in some form or another considers two central issues—relationships and competitiveness. Schwieterman and Miller suggest that factors such as increased competition for critical resources will intensify the pressure on supply chain managers to leverage their knowledge and experience of handling interfirm relationships in order to ensure their firms can provide products and services to customers. The authors draw on supply chain management literature to explain why factor market rivalry (FMR) can affect a firm’s performance indirectly by influencing suppliers’ resource allocation decisions. The research introduces a framework that illustrates various actions that firms can take in response to FMR, and it suggests ways to utilize FMR to complement existing competitive repertoires.

The second article, by Bolumole, Grawe, and Daugherty, focuses on a specific type of cooperative buyer-seller relationship: third-party logistics (3PL) firms that implant or place their employees at customer sites to deliver contracted logistics services. Their study on the role of an individual in managing the relationship between the 3PL and its customer provides some interesting insights regarding the influence of job autonomy and role clarity on customer service responsiveness.

Cantor, Corsi, Grimm, and Singh examine the relationship between motor carrier safety and firm size. The results of the study indicate that larger firms have superior access to the human and physical capital resources that are needed in the pursuit of advanced safety practices. Furthermore, larger firms are in a better position to make large-scale investments into the scientific knowledge and into the sophisticated safety equipment necessary for pursuing innovative safety practices. Their resource-based view suggests that large motor carriers can leverage the significant and positive relationship between firm size and safety performance to attain sustained competitive advantage.

The theme of competitiveness continues in Hales, Lam, and Chang’s article in his development of a new model that they refer to as the “Balanced Theory of Port Competitiveness.” In his study, Hales creates an analytical hierarchy process model that simultaneously considers 10 factors that comprise the port strategy deemed to be important to customers and [End Page v] investors. Using 12 global seaports to test the model, Hale demonstrates how port managers need to consider the influence of their decisions among the factors because failure to do so can improve one competitive factor while harming another.

This issue of TJ presents three Industry Notes. Coyle and Ruamsook address how Big Data techniques and methods can be used to manage weather-related risks. Two empirical data sets—weather and sales—were analyzed using a proprietary analytics method developed by Planalytics over the course of the past 15 years. An intelligent preparedness framework emerges from these empirical data analytics, and an early implementer uses this preparedness framework to exploit data analytics technology to mine weather Big Data.

Obaze, Manuj, and Ferris, in the second Industry Note, present the results of the fifth annual survey of logistics faculty salaries. The most commonly known survey of business school faculty and administrative salaries by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International does not specify salary figures for faculty in logistics and in related areas such as supply chain management. For this reason the study reported in this industry note provides important data about salary expectations for a new logistics PhD or for an administrator determining a budget for a logistics faculty position.

In the third Industry Note, Garver explores a new approach to choice modeling that estimates what percentage of shippers will opt for faster transit times at a large price premium and what percentage will opt for a slower transit time for a small price discount. This research provides important insights regarding how a carrier can plan for changes in demand for different transit times while also optimizing its financial performance.

The Transportation Journal recently announced a call for submissions for a themed issue for Summer 2017. The focus will be “Developing Logistics and Transportation Theory through Systematic Literature Reviews.” We encourage our readers to submit papers and look forward to receiving the...


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