Technology Influences on Small Logistics Providers: a Case Study Analysis

Pietro Evangelista, Institute for Service Industry Research (IRAT)
Alan McKinnon, Heriot-Watt University
Edward Sweeney, Dublin Institute of Technology

Published: in Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the Logistics Research Network, Newcastle, September 2006


ICT has triggered many changes in the logistics service industry. New technology is reshaping the organisation and structure of this industry as ICT impacts significantly on the operations of 3PLs. Within this process, while large 3PLs are gaining substantial benefits from technology usage, the nature of changes resulting from ICT usage in small 3PLs remains unclear. This is critical particularly for those markets populated by a high number of small 3PLs such as the Italian logistics industry. From the research point of view, there is still a gap in the literature where the role of technological capability in small 3PLs are seriously underestimated. This gives rise to the need to develop investigation in this area. This paper presents the preliminary results of a case study analysis on ICT usage in a sample of 7 small Italian 3PLs. The results highlight some of the barriers to effective ICT implementation, as well as some of the critical success factors.