Campus Units

Supply Chain and Information Systems

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Transportation Journal






Due to rapid urbanization, logistics providers are dealing with the conundrum of misaligned strategies for urban environments. Logistics providers often see the urbanness of an activity region as a constraint, while at the same time urban actors view logistics activities within their immediate environment as disruption. These attitudes obscure the value that logistics can provide for urban areas. The current research synchronizes the notions of urban and logistics by reconceptualizing urbanness (i.e., an area’s state of being urban) from the logistics service provider’s perspective. Utilizing a conceptual abstraction technique, the concept of urbanness is revised and differentiated to redefine urban areas as value clusters looking to balance supply and demand globally while also providing access to service at the local urban level. Further, logistics service providers are seen as offering value to urban areas through network logistics and localized logistics. Identifying these differentiated value propositions suggests that transportation providers should respond to urbanness not as a constraint, but as a context where ambidextrous strategies provide the greatest return. Our conceptual revision of urbanness offers promising future avenues of research dealing with urban complexity and logistics providers value appropriation.


This accepted article is published as Rose, W.J., Ralston, P.M., Autry, C.W., "Urbanness and Its Implications for Logistics Strategy: A Revised Perspective." Transportation Journal, vol. 59 no. 2, 2020, p. 165-199. Project MUSE Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

The Pennsylvania State University



File Format


Published Version