Paradoxes in E-grocery Delivery: Exploring the Sustainability Tensions of the Last Mile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


E-grocery retail has become increasingly popular, and the delivery of e-grocery orders comes with a set of specific sustainability challenges. This paper uses paradox theory to explore what kind of paradoxical sustainability tensions (PSTs) arise in the context of the rapidly transforming e-grocery retail market, looking specifically at sustainable last mile delivery.
To support the explorative purpose, a multiple case study approach has been chosen, utilizing interview as well as secondary data.
The study identifies six paradoxical sustainability tensions (PSTs) that impact the sustainability of LMD.
The generalizability of findings, deriving from respondents that represent a primarily Nordic and Baltic perspective, is limited to a European context.
Practical implications
The outcomes can provide e-grocery retailers with tools to better utilize the tensions they encounter to achieve positive and sustainable last mile outcomes.
Social implications
In a rapidly changing last mile environment and during a surge in both social and environmental sustainability challenges, this research can provide tangible tools to amend challenges for e-grocery retailers.
The paper contributes to a better understanding of the intricacies of sustainable last mile delivery while also contributing to paradox theory by exploring PSTs within the specific context of the rapidly transforming e-grocery market.
Keywords: Last Mile Delivery, E-grocery retail, Sustainability, Paradox Theory, paradoxical sustainability tensions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 35th NOFOMA Conference : The Nordic Logistics Research Network
Publication date14.06.2023
Publication statusPublished - 14.06.2023
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event35th Annual NOFOMA Conference 2023: Logistics during global crises - Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 14.06.202316.06.2023
Conference number: 35


  • 512 Business and Management
  • last mile delivery
  • sustainability
  • paradox theory
  • tensions
  • e-grocery retail
  • paradoxical sustainability tensions

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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