Buyer observations of the US third‐party logistics market

Harry L. Sink (North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
C. John Langley Jr (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA and)
Brian J. Gibson (Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Publication date: 1 April 1996


Outsourcing of logistics has become a key element of corporate strategy in a growing number of firms. For a variety of reasons, the market for these services is expanding rapidly. Represents the first phase of a triangulated research design formulated to investigate empirically the buying and selling of third‐party logistics services in the USA. A focus group, composed of senior managers personally involved in the evaluation and/or purchase of third‐party logistics services, was convened to explore buyer attitudes and generate concepts related to the contract logistics market. The study investigated the definition of third‐party logistics from the buyer’s perspective, the pros and cons of contract logistics, the necessary attributes of services and suppliers, the impetus for logistics outsourcing and the methods employed to select suppliers. Findings from the research are presented as five propositions.



Sink, H., Langley, C. and Gibson, B. (1996), "Buyer observations of the US third‐party logistics market", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 38-46.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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