Quotation Schramm, Hans-Joachim, Czaja, Caroline Nicole, Dittrich, Michael, Mentschel, Matthias. 2019. Current Advancements of and Future Developments for Fourth Party Logistics in a Digital Future. Logistics. 3 (1)




This paper aims to analyze the potential future of the 4PL concept based on expert opinions with special regard to the influence of digitalization coming with a disruptive trans-formation of supply chains. Service arrangements, provider capabilities and benefits resulting from a 4PL partnership are compared in current and future configurations. The research follows an explorative mixed methods approach with semi structured interviews followed by an expert panel. This builds a basis for an online survey questionnaire to inquire on important future aspects for the 4PL concept by a sample of respondents from multinational companies. Our results show a clear trend away from simply organizing transportation and logistics activities towards the provision of an IT platform as well as further value-added service activities such as planning, analytics and monitoring. Along with this, IT capabilities appear to be an important differentiator for 4PL providers in the future. Moreover, relationships between 4PL providers and their clients become closer and more strategic, which leads to a customer valuing not only direct cost reductions but rather improvements resulting from optimized operations through superior analysis and planning functions.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Logistics
Language English
Title Current Advancements of and Future Developments for Fourth Party Logistics in a Digital Future
Volume 3
Number 1
Year 2019
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2305-6290/3/1/7
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics3010007
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics3010007


Schramm, Hans-Joachim (Details)
Czaja, Caroline Nicole (WU Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria)
Dittrich, Michael (Accenture Strategy—Supply Chain Management ASG, Switzerland)
Mentschel, Matthias (Accenture Strategy—Supply Chain Management ASG, Germany)
Department of Global Business and Trade DP (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5300 Economics (Details)
5332 Transport economics (Details)
5336 Commodity science (Details)
5337 World trade science (Details)
5344 Foreign trade (Details)
5354 Business logistics (Details)
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