A problem often overlooked in 3PL literature is the necessity of aligning relational integration with service levels. This paper provides a preliminary conceptual framework to identify the level of complexity of 3PL services and aligning this with buyer-seller relationships. The conceptual argument offered in this paper makes a contribution to the debate about the links between the complexity of 3PL service bundles and the level of buyer-seller relationship integration needed for efficient logistics. The practical implications revolve around determining the necessary relational development associated with delivery of 3PL service bundles. Understanding this will enable practitioners to avoid any unmet expectations or the costs of over delivering when seeking outsourcing providers.
International Journal of Services Technology and Management,
Vol. 12, no. 1 (2009), pp. 88-105