Logistics outsourcing for small e-commerce companies: A study based on ACQUO of Sweden

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Kommunikations- och transportsystem; Linköpings universitet/Tekniska fakulteten

Abstract: Logistics outsourcing can be used as a strategy for companies that attempt to solve internal issues and/or improve their businesses enhancing their competitiveness. Such strategy is not limited only for large firms, even small companies have possibilities to implement it. This thesis addresses the decision making for outsourcing logistics activities in the context of a small e-commerce company in the fashion industry and also it intends to clarify what small e-commerce companies need to know when contemplating outsourcing opportunities. The purpose of this thesis is to provide guidance for small fashion e-commerce companies about what to consider when faced with a logistics outsourcing decision. The company ACQUO of Sweden (AoS) was referred to as the case study of this thesis. A literature review was conducted investigating previous related research to identify key factors to be considered when contemplating outsourcing and relevant theories to answer the research questions and the purpose of this thesis. The findings indicated that implementing outsourcing is not a simple quick task even for small firms, since it requires previous research, accurate analysis, evaluated decisions and well-planned establishment outsourcing process to achieve a successful outcome. In conclusion, an outsourcing decision should be taken cautiously. It should be based and justified through previous precise evaluations, potential benefits for the company and a suitable reliable TPL-partner. The findings are based on analysis and pattern matching between the literature and empiric data of this study. This study also refers eventual risks that TPL-relationships might imply and how to prevent them. Additionally, this study makes mention of disadvantages that small firms as AoS might have towards the TPL-market being a small e-commerce company that is considering acquiring TPL-services.

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