Home    Number 6, 2022

Social Logistics: Private Entrepreneurs and Food Supplies to the “Far Reaches” of the Russian Arctic

[Sotsial’naia logistika: chastnye predprinimateli i postavki produktov na “severnye okrainy”]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522060124


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 11.03.2022

Accepted: 03.10.2022

About author(s)

Valeria Vasilyeva | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0142-7968 | vvasilyeva@eu.spb.ru | Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences (3 University Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia)


Arctic, Russian North, logistics, infrastructure, freight traffic, supply chains, product delivery, shipment locations, private entrepreneurship


The article focuses on the ways in which private entrepreneurs from Russia’s “Far Reaches” – Arctic territories lacking reliable communication infrastructures – make their choices regarding purchases, contractors, and supply chains. Taking social logistics as a range of social factors that are embedded in entrepreneurship and are instrumental in shaping actual logistics solutions, I attempt to show the specifics of supply and delivery chains used by private entrepreneurs working in the area under consideration. These chains are highly irregular and flexible, while entrepreneurs’ rationality for the choice of shipment locations is often not cost minimization but other factors. Drawing on approaches developed in the emergent field of anthropology of logistics, I examine the functioning of practices within the current logistical order and argue that the latter does not necessarily imply reliability of freight traffic and that the alternative rationalities for choosing shipment locations still do not necessarily contradict its foundational principles.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 19-78-10002]


Vasilyeva, V.V. 2022. Sotsial’naia logistika: chastnye predprinimateli i postavki produktov na “severnye okrainy” [Social Logistics: Private Entrepreneurs and Food Supplies to the “Far Reaches” of the Russian Arctic]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 213–232. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522060124 EDN: MSKRPU

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