Management of logistics service providers: a situational approach

Jacobsen, Sven-Erik (2007) Management of logistics service providers: a situational approach. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


Over the past decade, companies have seen a dramatic increase in the number of options available to them for structuring their supply chain. Still, they put forth restraints against the outsourcing of competition-relevant, comprehensive and complex tasks on logistics service providers. In particular, the possible dependencies on a logistics service provider or the difficult reversibility of a previously made outsourcing decision are unresolved issues. Numerous companies have indeed become more dependent on their suppliers for many activities. As a result, the strategic importance of purchasing logistics functions has become more important. In other words, the management approach and the resulting cooperation approach with the logistics service provider have become important influencing factors in a company's success.
This dissertation identifies and develops a managerial situational approach to the management of logistics service providers into intra- and inter-organisational processes and networks throughout a logistics cooperation life cycle. Areas of research are the management elements between the focal company (the shipper/the outsourcer) and cooperating carriers, freight forwarders and third and fourthparty logistics providers. The feasibility of a differentiated situational approach is analysed and the possibility of a situational management approach dependent on internal and external variables, the logistical demand and the logistical supply situations, respectively is identified. The relevance of the organisational linkage is derived from developments and trends in supply chain management, network management, developments in the logistical demand as well as in the market of logistics services. The logistics service provider management elements are developed along the information- and decision phase, the agreement phase, the processing- and controlling phase as well as the adjustment phase. On the basis of case studies the practical relevance of the resulting procedure and design recommendations is challenged.

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