Operations Management Research

, Volume 11, Issue 1–2, pp 32–50 | Cite as

Horizontal collaboration in logistics: decision framework and typology

  • Niels MartinEmail author
  • Lotte Verdonck
  • An Caris
  • Benoît Depaire


Logistics service providers become increasingly aware of the need to collaborate to face challenges such as globalization and the heightened expectations of customers. This paper focuses on horizontal cooperation between logistics service providers in road transportation and introduces two novel conceptual models. Firstly, a decision framework for the development and management of horizontal logistics alliances is presented. This framework provides support to logistics service providers considering horizontal collaboration and allows for the analysis of the decision process underlying horizontal logistics alliances. The cyclical framework consists of five stages and attributes a central position to continuous evaluation. Secondly, an easy-to-use typology is proposed which defines six horizontal collaboration types based on their activity scope and degree of structural intertwinement. The typology provides logistics service providers with insights in the various horizontal collaboration types, including some key management questions. Both models are validated by knowledgeable practitioners and are applied to two real-life case studies.


Horizontal cooperation Logistics service providers Decision framework Typology Case study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group Business Informatics, Faculty of Business EconomicsHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Research Group Logistics, Faculty of Business EconomicsHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  3. 3.Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)BrusselsBelgium

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