Exploring the Potential Impact of Relationship Characteristics and Customer Attributes on the Outcomes of Third-party Logistics Arrangements
A. Michael Knemeyer and Paul R. Murphy
Transportation Journal, American Society of Transportation & Logistics Inc, and
College of Business, University of North Texas
This article uses a relationship marketing perspective as the basis for evaluating third-party logistics arrangements. In particular, the study investigates whether 3PL relationship outcomes (e.g., customer retention, service recovery) are influenced by select relationship characteristics (e.g., communication, reputation) and/or select customer attributes (e.g., firm size, number of outsourced logistics functions). The article reports the fmdings from a study of 388 users of third-party logistics services that investigated these potential linkages. Regression analyses were applied to the constructs of interest in order to learn about the degree of influence. The findings suggest that “substance trumps style”’ in the sense that relationship characteristics, rather than customer attributes, have the more significant impacts on relationship outcomes.