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Holistic Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Global Logistics Hubs: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study

Hassan, Sandy


Sandy Hassan



In recent years, the emergence of global logistics hubs (GLHs) has been on the rise, with these hubs playing a critical role in facilitating the smooth flow of global trade through their strategic location and functions that support global supply chains. Furthermore, GLHs provide benefits to the regions hosting them through the attraction of foreign investment, enhancement of education, and creation of job opportunities. However, there are limited research studies on GLHs suggesting a gap in the current knowledge on the concept, which requires further exploration. Additionally, the accumulation of the functions and activities of existing and emerging GLHs is resulting in extensive environmental impact. The environmental performance and sustainability of GLHs is a topic that requires further exploration, particularly in light of the climate emergency, which is an urgent and pressing issue that requires immediate action (IPCC, 2022). The transportation and logistics sector, of which GLHs are heavily dependent on, is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. Therefore, it is imperative that GLHs are developed and operated in a sustainable and responsible manner given the global concentration of operations and activities in a specific location. This research aims to address this need by exploring the concept of GLHs and their environmental performance and sustainability. Adopting an inductive qualitative research approach and a multiple case study research method, this study focuses on four diverse GLH case studies: Rotterdam, Antwerp, Liverpool, and Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) GLHs. The aim of the research is to establish a comprehensive understanding of GLHs, their environmental performance, and sustainability for academic and industrial applications for emerging and fully developed GLHs. The research contributes to the gap in knowledge by providing an up-to-date and clear definition of GLHs, their primary stakeholders and their operations, and a multi-stage development model. Additionally, a holistic conceptual environmental performance measurement framework for GLHs encompassing their primary stakeholders is developed. The research also highlights the level of connection between stakeholders in GLHs, the governance structure, and environmental sustainability responsibility in GLHs. Furthermore, this study explores the factors that drive or impede environmental performance and sustainability in GLHs, and provides an illustration of these factors using a fishbone diagram.


Hassan, S. (2023). Holistic Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Global Logistics Hubs: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 7, 2023
Keywords Management
Public URL
Additional Information Business School,
University of Hull
Award Date Jun 21, 2023


Thesis (27 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Sandy Hassan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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