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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Industry in Transition: Third Party Logistics in the Information Age


The third party logistics industry in the US and world wide is currently undergoing a rapid transition. The main drivers of these changes are advances in information and communications technologies, the development of on-line freight marketplaces and the emergence worldwide of the so called "e-tailers or dot-coms." The advances in IT make possible many new strategies and enable integration of supply chains. In addition, the new internet-enabled companies are setting up shop quickly and in some cases outsourcing all of of their logistics and transportation functions, increasing the need for both logistics services and a wide variety of new product offerings. In this paper we provide a characterization of the industry and discuss past practice and future research opportunities.

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