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Estimating the size of the national logistics market: A method to include both market-based demand and in-house services

Tomi Solakivi (Operations and Supply Chain Management Unit, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Lauri Ojala (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Harri Lorentz (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Juuso Töyli (Department of Marketing and International Business, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland) (Department of Communications and Networking, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)
Sini Laari (Operations and Supply Chain Management Unit, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 14 March 2018

Issue publication date: 17 May 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The size of the logistics market is typically estimated from the national accounting and market data. However, this data does not take certain in-house logistics services into account and most likely underestimates the true size of the market. The purpose of this paper is to develop a method for estimating the potential size of the logistics market in terms of overall logistics expenditure and to also account for in-house services.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach involves combining longitudinal industry- and firm-level turnover data, incorporating survey data from Finland on logistics outsourcing and costs, and calculating yearly logistics expenditure and the market demand for logistics services. Descriptive statistics, weighted arithmetic means and analyses of variance are employed in the estimations.

Findings

The research suggests and demonstrates a rigorous method for estimating the size of the logistics market, including both market-based demand and in-house services.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical data used to illustrate the result are limited to a single country. The methodology should be further validated with data from other countries. The quality of the survey data could be improved by targeting multiple informants from a single firm.

Social implications

One outcome of the research is that policymakers will be better able to estimate the size of the logistics market on a national level. For service providers, the results provide additional information on the market potential of logistics services.

Originality/value

The novelty of the research lies in combining multiple data sources and expanding the estimation of the logistics market to include services provided in-house.

Keywords

Citation

Solakivi, T., Ojala, L., Lorentz, H., Töyli, J. and Laari, S. (2018), "Estimating the size of the national logistics market: A method to include both market-based demand and in-house services", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 488-503. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-01-2018-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited