SparQ Inc. is the market leader in the design, development, marketing, and sale of outdoor, sports, and leisure apparel and footwear. Due to its global dispersion, SparQ faces significant logistical and supply chain related challenges, one of which is making efficient and resilient outbound and inbound transportation decisions. Transportation modes differ in their costs and CO2 impact on the environment. Optimising specifically inbound transportation mode selection between vessel and air freight is critical in reducing SparQ’s carbon footprint. Sophie Cornelison, the manager of SparQ’s EMEA Supply Chain and Operations (SC&O) team responsible for making transportation mode decisions for SparQ’s inbound shipments to the European marketplace, is approached by top management to redefine and optimise SparQ’s current inbound transportation decision-making process. She and her team need to create a solution that lays out a plan how SparQ can minimise its transportation carbon footprint. The case explains how decision-makers nowadays face certain trade-offs when making decisions that need to be financially and environmentally sustainable. It depicts the tension that exists between logistical and commercial considerations as well as between strategic and operational determinants.

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1. Describe the trade-offs SparQ faces in its transportation mode selection process. 2. Understand the logistics and commercial tension in transportation decision-making many companies experience. 3. Analyse the differences in traditional logistics decisions versus how logistics decisions have changed in light of commercial trends towards the topic of sustainability. 4. Create a solution how SparQ can make transportation decisions that try to balance profitability and sustainability. 5. Evaluate the designed solution for SparQ.

Case Study