Kersten, Koch, Hohrath (2007) : Motivation for the outsourcing of complex logistics services

full paper here, Production and management operations society


As many authors have noted, the outsourcing of logistics services is growing ever more revalent in today’s business environment. In this context, a number of different outsourcing business models have developed. The scope of logistics outsourcing relationship can be limited to a few simple tasks such as transportation and storage. In recent years, however, the outsourcing of complex bundles of logistics functions, often referred to as contract logistics, is an area that exhibits high growth rates. This is often associated with companies focussing on their core competencies, but the literature shows a variety of possible reasons.

In order to clarify the motivation for logistics outsourcing this paper analyses the perceived advantages and limitations of contract logistics outsourcing from the perspective of logistics service providers and their clients. A literature review of existing theoretical and empirical studies was conducted. To complement existing findings, the Hamburg School of Logistics constructed a survey instrument and distributed it to a sample of German companies.


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