Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Published: International Journal of Business and Systems Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-18, 2009.


Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is widely regarded as a key integration enabler in contemporary supply chain configurations. Furthermore, recent years have seen the vertical disintegration of supply chains as increasing numbers of manufacturers and retailers outsource significant parts of their supply chain functionality. In this environment, Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers - the majority of which are small companies - play a pivotal role. This raises important questions about the usage of ICT in this sector. However, there is a paucity of research in the field of small 3PLs with little empirical investigation into the usage of ICT by such firms. This paper presents the results of a survey on ICT systems usage in a sample of small Italian 3PLs. The results provide a technological profile of the surveyed companies, as well as an analysis of the role of ICT in customising services and of the factors influencing technology adoption