STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR TRANSITIONING FROM THIRD- TO FOURTH-PARTY LOGISTICS UNDER E-COMMERCE          ENVIRONMENT IN CHINA

Ching-Kuei Kao*

Department of Logistics Management, Fujian University of Technology, China

*corresponding authorckkao@fjut.edu.cn

Mingwei Qian

Department of Logistics Management, Beijing Institute of Technology, ZhuhaiChina

Tang-Hsien Chang

Department of Transportation, Fujian University of Technology, China

Peng-Jung Lin

Department of Marketing, Beijing Institute of Technology, ZhuhaiChina

Abstract

Due to the inability of third-party logistics (3PL) to fully adapt to the rapid development of global e-commerce, the supply chain model of fourth-party logistics (4PL) has gradually replaced the former. At present, 3PL in China remains relatively mature, but various logistics enterprises are still comparatively unfamiliar with 4PL. This study compares the different points in executing 3PL and 4PL to analyze the main problems faced by logistics enterprises when transitioning from 3PL to 4PL. The points of comparison include capabilities for logistics operation, information technology application, multi-customer and supply chain management, and change in management. TRIZ analysis is conducted, and nine strategies are designed for improving these four capabilities. The proposed strategies are divided into three phases according to the time frame of implementation: short-, medium-, and long-term. This study provides strategic planning guidelines by solving the key capabilities encountered in the process of transforming from 3PL to 4PL. The results also provide future reference for third-party enterprises that need transformation and help them to successfully transform into 4PL.

KeywordsFourth-party logistics, Third-party logistics, E-commerce, TRIZ

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