A significant development of modern business management is that individual firms no longer compete as solely autonomous entities, but rather as supply chains (Lambert and Cooper 2000). Within a supply chain, relationships between customer firms and their logistics service providers (LSPs) play an increasingly important role due to the rising relevance of the logistics function for firms in general and the significant growth in the use of logistics outsourcing over the past years (Knemeyer and Murphy 2004; Ashenbaum, Maltz, and Rabinovich 2005; Gadde and Hulthén 2009; Langley Jr. et al. 2009). This is clarified by some recent figures. For example, a large industry survey by Langley Jr. et al. (2009) indicates that in 2009, 66 percent and 47 percent of total logistics expenditures in Western Europe and in the U.S., respectively, were devoted to logistics outsourcing. Further, a survey amongst Fortune 500 companies reveals that in 2004, over 80 percent of the responding firms use logistics outsourcing (Lieb and Bentz 2005).
KeywordsSupply Chain Partial Little Square Supply Chain Management Customer Loyalty Business Logistics
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