Title: A framework of supplier selection of Integrative Logistics Providers

Authors: Yu Tian, Kenneth Zantow, Chunxing Fan

Addresses: School of Business, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China. ' College of Business, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, MS 39560, USA. ' College of Business, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Abstract: In order to tackle intensifying competition, more companies feel, it is necessary to outsource their logistics activities to logistics service providers. However, many logistics service providers can only offer a limited scope of services. To simplify managerial complexity, a growing number of companies seek to reduce their logistics service supplier base and thus prefer integrative logistics service providers ((ILSP), also called fourth-party logistics) which provide a broader range of services. However, ILSP may not internalise all logistics businesses and thus they have to outsource their contracts again to other third-party logistics providers. This study aims to build a framework through which the ILSP can decide which logistics service providers should be used. The framework was tested and refined using survey data from China. Furthermore, an innovative method, combining analytical hierarchy process and linear programming, was proposed to assess logistics service providers. A case study was conducted using this method. This study represents a pioneer study of ILSP in China and provides valuable insights for ILSP.

Keywords: AHP; analytical hierarchy process; China; enterprise development; 4PL; fourth party logistics; ILSP; integrative logistics service providers; supplier selection; outsourcing; linear programming.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2009.025950

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2009 Vol.7 No.2, pp.200 - 214

Published online: 25 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article