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Third‐Party Logistics: Is There a Future?

Magnus Berglund (Linköping University)
Peter van Laarhoven (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Graham Sharman (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Sten Wandel (Linköping University)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 1 January 1999



In this article, the authors describe the results of a study on strategies of third‐party logistics (TPL) providers. The size of the TPL industry and the different requirements placed on logistics as opposed to basic services, such as transportation or public warehousing, justify the need to treat TPL as a separate industry. The authors describe three waves of entrants into the TPL industry and a taxonomy for value creation by logistics providers. Empirical findings for a strategic segmentation of the industry are presented. The strategic segmentation is connected to the waves of entrants and the taxonomy by an evaluation of required skills of TPL players. The TPL industry will soon reach an initial stage of maturity, but further changes are to be expected.



Berglund, M., van Laarhoven, P., Sharman, G. and Wandel, S. (1999), "Third‐Party Logistics: Is There a Future?", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 59-70.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited