Contract logistics has received considerable attention in both research and practice over the past decades. Concentration on core competencies and cost-saving objectives in commerce and industry are the drivers for intensified collaboration with contract logistics service providers (LSP). LSPs in turn are seeking long-term contracts and higher margins on comprehensive services compared to the price-driven transportation business. In order to reduce managerial efforts, various services are shifted to a limited number of service providers, resulting in comprehensive service bundles being outsourced. As these service bundles are complex and involve specific investments, creating dependency, long-term relationships between the customer – the shipper – and the LSP are established. Hence contract logistics requires profound knowledge and skills of both the LSP and the shipper to successfully establish satisfactory relationships. The design of appropriate service bundles is particularly challenging. The decisions made in this phase form the basis for the relationship of the involved parties. Contract logistics service bundles need to be designed in a way that satisfies both partners in order to guarantee successful contract logistics in the sense of a longterm, stable relationship. However, research has not satisfactory focused on this topic. This dissertation discusses factors that influence successful service bundle design and identifies significant contributors in order to conceptualise the design of contract logistics service bundles and provide guidance for service bundle design based on literature review and empirical investigation.
The research at hand focuses on three cornerstones of successful contract logistics service bundle design. First, the resources of LSPs are analysed with respect to their relevance for the design of contract logistics service bundles. Second, the understanding and transfer of shipper needs into the designed service bundles is examined. Finally, the choice of the appropriate remuneration model in the design of contract logistics service bundles is addressed.