TPL PRACTICES : A SWEDISH PERSPECTIVE 2007
Purpose – There is growing evidence of organizations increasingly seeking to outsource logistics activities. This has been concluded in several other countries. There has not been made any prior systematic studies made over the practice of TPL usage in Sweden. Since Sweden has a large amount of manufacturing companies, the purpose aims to ex-amine and give a broad view of the usage of third party logistics (TPL) services for the manufacturing firms in Sweden. At the same time a comparison study will be made be-tween Sweden and the other countries.
Design/Methodology/Approach – The empirical research is used to study the extent firms use the services of logistics companies; the decision making process for choosing contract logistics and its impact on the organization; The TPL services used and plans for the future in terms of the usage; TPL usage in a supply chain perspective.
Findings – The study indicates that Swedish manufacturing firms are quite experienced in the use of third party logistics services. The usage of TPL services reveals positive and significant impact on the business performance within the organization; most of the users are satisfied with the services providers. Additionally, the usage of TPL services is expected to increase in the future. In terms of the supply chain perspective, certain number of respondent in manufacturing companies are aware of and influenced by the usage of the TPL services providers from the supply chain partners.
Research limitations/implications – This survey focused on the largest, 350 manu-facturing companies in Sweden. However, many small- medium size companies also use the TPL services, study can be done to compare the use of TPL services in terms of the size of the companies. Further, concerning the supply chain perspective, research can be done to investigate whether more benefits in sharing the same primary TPL providers with major customers and vendors than in using different TPL providers. Studies can further be done to identifying who has more power in the supply chain concerning the use of TPL providers, for the Swedish manufacturing companies.
Practical implications – The results provide managers with evidence supporting the benefits of outsourcing logistics activities. The study also contains useful information for the TPL providers concerning the most frequently used services and the potential services which are currently absent in the market.
Originality/value – This study makes a significant addition to literature on logistics outsourcing, since little empirical research has been previously reported from Sweden. Moreover, the results of this study will also serve as a future benchmark for the entire Nordic region.
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