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Logistics service providers in China: Current status and future prospects

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Abstract

Purpose – The article attempts to study the current status and future prospects of logistics providers in the whole country as well as a comparatively developed Chinese city (Tianjin); reveal the disparities between China and Tianjin, as well as local firms and their foreign counterparts; and identify the challenges faced by Chinese logistics providers and offer managerial implications for logistics providers in an increasingly competitive environment. Design/methodology/approach – This research is based on two surveys conducted in China and Tianjin, respectively, under the support from government authorities. Comparative analyses were conducted to ascertain the differences between logistics firms in China and developed countries, as well as regional differences within China. Findings – The results reveal that Chinese logistics providers depend heavily on transportation and warehousing businesses but lack value‐added services and logistics information management. Rate setting ranks highly in provider priority while the importance of lead‐time performance is largely ignored. Significant regional differences in logistics exist and there is a long way for Chinese logistics providers to go in achieving international service standards. Most local firms wish to establish strategic alliances to enhance competitiveness. Originality/value – This research enriches the literature by investigating the current status and future prospects of logistics service providers in a transitional economy. China being an emerging player in the world economy, an understanding and assessment of China's logistics service providers is appropriate and timely. It offers invaluable information and implications for local providers, government authorities and foreign logistic service providers that are interested in the market.

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... Bask 2001;Hertz and Alfredsson 2003;Schary and Skjott-Larsen 2001) have examined the positioning strategies used by LSPs and found that a competency-based positioning strategy leads to solutions that created values for customers (Juga, Pekkarinen, and Kilpala 2008;Mothilal et al. 2012;Trentin 2011). LSPs in China with positioning competency have also been found to provide more innovative supply chain solutions to customers than those without (Hong, Chin, and Liu 2007;Wang et al. 2008). In operationalising the positioning construct, we viewed the combined capabilities of providing innovative supply chain solutions, offering an extensive range of logistics services, accommodating unique requests of clients and having expertise in a range of industries (Items P1-P4 in Table 1) as an indication of this competency. ...
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... First, the majority of the items in this study are drawn from established scales that have already been tested for content validity (e.g. Ahlstrom, Bruton, and Chan 2001;Cho, Ozment, and Sink 2008;Hong, Chin, and Liu 2007;Huo and Von Glinow 1995;Shang and Marlow 2007;Stank and Lackey 1997;Wang et al. 2008;Warner 2008). Second, following all items were reviewed by the investigators to make sure that they cover the main domain of the construct. ...
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... Literature review showed, that human resources are widely acknowledged as key elements that contribute to firms'success and performance [Karami 2004, Luthans 1997, Ding 2015. Numerous studies have pointed to the shortage of logistics human resources and lack of logistics expertise as the critical issues hindering logistics operations in many countries [Hong 2007, Zhou 2008. ...
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This paper aims at understanding the firm-specific determinants of logistics outsourcing in a transitional economy. Some hypotheses are made and tested based on a survey conducted in 2002. The results show that factors such as financial strength, production and industrial type, management level at which the logistics decision is made can significantly affect outsourcing decisions. Other factors such as number of employees and ownership type are considered as well. Some of our findings are different from previous studies that target at developed countries. Implications for practitioners and areas for future research are considered at the end.
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This article provides information gathered in a survey of the CEOs of the 25 largest third-party logistics companies operating in the US. Their industry is relatively new, with more than half of their companies having initiated operations since 1984. Most of their companies are subsidiaries of large transportation or warehousing enterprises. These service providers are becoming increasingly international, with nearly all of them having expanded their operations outside the US. As the industry continues to evolve, the large providers are increasingly turning to alliances with other companies as a means of broadening their services offerings. Transportation services, warehousing, and value-added services are the industry's most significant revenue generators. The net investment, employment base, and customer base of these companies vary considerably. All of the survey respondents reported annual revenues in excess of $50 million, with one exceeding $1 billion. Many of the companies have attempted to niche themselves in particular industries, and, to date, they have primary focused their sales efforts on large corporations. The industry continues to grow rapidly, with more than two-thirds of the CEOs projecting one and three year company growth rates in excess of 20 percent. According to the CEOs, the most important industrial dynamics affecting the industry are increased interest in outsourcing logistics activities, greater interest in one-stop shopping, and increased CEO/CFO participation in considering the third-party option.
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This paper examines logistics services and strategic dimensions in Taiwanese (Republic of China, ROC) maritime firms. This is done by means of a review of previous studies and personal interviews; data collection has also included a questionnaire survey. A factor analysis and a principal components analysis were conducted in order to assess the degree of importance of a large number of service attributes and a small number of underlying dimensions called strategic dimensions (factors). The results revealed that the most important strategic dimension was value-added service, followed by promotion, equipment and facilities as well as speed and reliability. This research attempted to link the relationship between performance and logistics services. While the average profit rate, sales growth rate and return on assets of implemented logistics firms were higher in degree of importance than for non-implemented logistics firms, the difference was not statistically significant. The approach utilized in this research could be useful for shipping practitioners to improve their performance and to enhance their competitive advantage.
Managing effective third party logistics relationships: what does it take?
  • S Boyson
  • T Corsi
  • M Dresner
  • E. Rabinovich
Partnerships for Profit
  • J. Lewis
Distribution in China: the end of the beginning
  • P. Powers
Cross-national industrial mail surveys
  • A W Harzing
Harzing, A.W. (2000), ''Cross-national industrial mail surveys'', Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 29, pp. 243-54.