Third Party Logistics -a Nordic Approach

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Tage Skj!Jtt-Larsen) A rni Halld6r.~son, Dan Andersson) Heidi Dreyer, Helge Virum a nd Lauri Ojala

This paper gives an overview o f the TPL research in the Nordic countries. The objective is to see i f there is a "Nordic .School o f TPL",which has some distinctive characteristics in terms o f research methodology, theoretical approaches or empirical findings. To achieve this, the contribution o f Nordic TPL researchers to the international research agenda (articles in logistics journals, PhD theses and papers at refereed logistics conferences) is reviewed. Although this approach may only provide an incomplete pictm·e, we believe that this evidence support the overall presumption that it is possible to talk about a "Nordic Approach" to TPL. Finally, we will present a joint Nordic TPL research project.

Key Words: Third party logistics, Nordic approach, joint research, NOFOMA, research methodology.


Introduction and background

NOFOMA (Nordic Forum for Materials Administration) has since 1989 been a forum, where logistics researchers from universities and business schools have met at conferences every year to exchange ideas and present their newest research results. For many young logistics researchers this has been their first opportunity to present a paper in English. NOFOMA conferences have increased in both number o f participants (from about 25 to about 150), geographical coverage (an increasing number o f participants are coming from universities outside the Nordic countries) and topics (spanning from qualitative to quantitative, theoretical to practical, and functional to process oriented). However, there is still a core o f logistics researchers, who have participated in most NOFOMA conferences and thus know each other quite well. Therefore, the idea o f making a joint Nordic TPL study was based on a

solid personal knowledge o f each other in terms o f previous research, working...
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