Human factor-related mistakes in logistics industry and opportunities for their reduction
Kovalenko, Alina (2019)
Pro gradu -tutkielma
School of Business and Management, Kauppatieteet
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The problem of human factor-related errors tends to be a tragedy of commons and have its negative damaging impact not only in the healthcare or manufacturing, but also in the field of logistics industry. The previous studies aimed at discovering the logistics errors have supported this research with deep theoretical knowledge of operational errors and errors’ related risks not only in general, but also project logistics, the critical human errors in all the prevalent modes of transportation and the already identified critical causation. However, the majority of the previous studies have shown the logistics-related mistakes only from a very general perspective, and so far no studies have comprehensively considered the operational mistakes in both container shipping and freight forwarding from a perspective of not only the main actors of logistics network, such as drivers and pilots, but also from the perspective of the actual logistics coordinators. Accordingly, the key objective of this study complies investigation and analysis of the significant human related mistakes and errors in container shipping industry and freight forwarding, as well as determination of the causes of the errors in logistics coordination to attempt its mitigation in the future. The research empirically examined the risk factors of the human errors, which concentrated on the current logistics specialists of different age and professional experience. The study is also focusing on the influence of factors, such as: employee’s motivation, time management, personal lifestyle, work management and work lifestyle, as well as mistakes and errors’ attitude towards thereof. To be precise, a questionnaire has been chosen and employed as the key empirical data collection tool, after which the causes of errors identified were then evaluated with descriptive analytics and examined in the Analysis Chapter. Afterwards, the study represented the key findings of most contributing factors and finally discussed them in latest chapter of this thesis. In the end of the research, the managerial recommendations were suggested, and the idea of Business Logistics Intelligence was briefly introduced, which would guide managers towards more balanced and informed decision-making and as a result, would improve efficiency of logistics and forwarding operations. The key finding of this research is that the operational performance of any logistics-related service provider is largely affected by human-related errors, especially taking into account errors in manual computing and incorrect preparation of cargo supplementing documentation. The human-related errors are either caused by the manual daily routine-type tasks, performed on the automatic level with slips, mistakes on the basis of extensive experience of employees or by imperfection of human reaction and human information processing abilities. Other significant causes for human-related errors of logistics coordinators have been identified as stress, constant hurry with many performed tasks at the same time, as well as increased responsibility for arrangement of logistics services in constantly changing external environment.