Current Advancements of and Future Developments for Fourth Party Logistics in a Digital Future

Hans-Joachim Schramm, Caroline Nicole Czaja, Michael Dittrich, Matthias Mentschel

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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This paper aims to analyze the potential future of the 4PL concept based on expert opinions with special regard to the influence of digitalization coming with a disruptive trans-formation of supply chains. Service arrangements, provider capabilities and benefits resulting from a 4PL partnership are compared in current and future configurations. The research follows an explorative mixed methods approach with semi structured interviews followed by an expert panel. This builds a basis for an online survey questionnaire to inquire on important future aspects for the 4PL concept by a sample of respondents from multinational companies. Our results show a clear trend away from simply organizing transportation and logistics activities towards the provision of an IT platform as well as further value-added service activities such as planning, analytics and monitoring. Along with this, IT capabilities appear to be an important differentiator for 4PL providers in the future. Moreover, relationships between 4PL providers and their clients become closer and more strategic, which leads to a customer valuing not only direct cost reductions but rather improvements resulting from optimized operations through superior analysis and planning functions.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502
  • 502003 Foreign trade
  • Fourth Party Logistics in a Digital Future

    Schramm, H-J., Czaja, C. N., Dittrich, M. & Mentschel, M., 2017, NOFOMA 2017 - The 29th NOFOMA Conference "Taking on Grand Challenges". Daniel Hellström, Joakim Kembro and Hajnalka Bodnar (ed.). Lund: Lund University, p. 626 - 641

    Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings

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