Third-party logistics (3PL), a relatively new industry, has gained momentum since the emergence of global market and the Internet, in particular electronic commerce (e-commerce). Global competitive-ness places more pressure on companies to improve their delivery performance of products and services to customers. In an effort to improve the quality of delivery service, companies have outsourced their logistics services, including packing, warehousing (inventory management) and shipping of goods to customers. Communication plays an important role in integrating the activities along the logistics value chain. Information technologies such as electronic data interchange (EDI), the Internet, World Wide Web (WWW) and e-commerce have contributed greatly to improving communication with partners in the logistics chain. In particular, real-time information systems such as web-based logistics information systems help to improve 3PL services. In this paper, a case study of e-logistics is used to illustrate the implications of information technology, in particular the Internet, WWW and EDI, on the performance of the logistics value chain. A framework based on the literature survey and case study is proposed to help companies develop an e-logistics system to improve their competitiveness.
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