The influence of contractual and relational factors on the effectiveness of third party logistics relationships

D. Hofenk*, R. Schipper, J. Semeijn, C.J. Gelderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Outsourcing has become popular in both management literature and practice, but few studies have examined the effects of two important and potentially complementary elements - contractual and relational elements - on the effectiveness of logistics outsourcing relationships. It is theorized that contract formality, the thoroughness of contract negotiations, trust and commitment increase the effectiveness of 3PL provider-client relationships. For empirical validation a survey was carried out in the :3PL industry among both 3PL providers and clients. Using PLS path modelling, we observed that for both LSPs and clients, contract formality, trust and commitment are all positively related to relationship effectiveness. The results for negotiation thoroughness are mixed. The model explains 59% (LSPs) and 60% (clients) of the variance in relationship effectiveness. It is concluded that both 'hard' contractual aspects and 'soft' relationship aspects are important for effective supply chain collaboration. Theoretical and managerial implications are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Third party logistics
  • Contract
  • Relationship effectiveness

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