Document Type

Conference Paper


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


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Published: in Supply Chain Innovations: People, Practice and Performance, perspectives, Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference of the Logistics Research Network, Liverpool, pp. 271-276, September 2008.


Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is widely regarded as a key integration enabler in contemporary supply chain configurations. Additionally, as increasing numbers of manufacturers and retailers outsource significant parts of their supply chain functionality, the world has seen the vertical disintegration of supply chains. As a result of these and other developments, the extended enterprise (EE) business model has become more widely adopted in a range of sectors. In this environment, third party logistics (3PL) providers (the majority of which are small companies) may play a pivotal role in integrating physical and information flows in new business models through the use of ICT, namely through Internet websites. This paper presents the results of an exploratory, empirical investigation conducted on the website content of a sample of 153 small Italian logistics service companies. The results of the survey show managerial implications for small 3PL companies and indicates possible future research directions in this field. This is especially important considering the paucity of research in the field of small 3PLs and little empirical investigation into the use of websites by such firms.