Strategic development of third party logistics providers
The growth of the Third Party Logistics (TPL) business has caused many firms from different industries to enter the field. We are interested in how their different strategies develop over time with a special focus on how they balance between general problem solving capability and the degree of customer adaptation. In the development of their strategy the newly entered firms shown to be highly influenced by existing business and its network. However, at a later stage the case firms were all focused on moving into more advanced and complex services (4pl type of services) without considerations to their traditional business strategy. We have also identified some issues of importance when managing the continued TPL business strategy. One issue is about the organisation of the TPL business and its need for neutrality from traditional business. The next issue is about the internationalisation of the TPL business and the need of a partly different pattern and network. Finally, the issue of coping with strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions seems vital for understanding and developing the business. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.