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Journal of Supply Chain Management

The Purchasing and Control of Supplementary Third-Party Logistics Services Members Only Content

Mass customization poses a challenge to the development of competitive supply chains. Third-party logistics service providers are targeting customizing operations to supplement their transport and warehousing services. Their expansion is driven by strategies for adding value and upgrading customer relations. This article assesses the development of these relations by presenting the results of a survey conducted among service providers. The assessment covers the nature of the purchasing policy and governance structure applied in this particular type of interfirm relations, including the type of services, contracts, frequency, level, and content of coordination and communication among parties in the chain. It was found that the new transactional context does not represent a market environment in which third parties can escape traditional arm’s-length fixed contracts. It was also found that supplementary customizing services are not often applied. Recommendations are made about purchasing these services and about initiatives for third parties to start expanding their competence within the governance structure.

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