Nowadays, logistics outsourcing is a process that companies
are increasingly using. It is for an industrial or commercial company to
“entrust all or part of a supply chain, previously provided internally, to
an external service provider”. The purpose of this thesis is to question
the conditions of outsourcing, the criteria that will lead a company to choose
a particular type of logistics service provider. Given these criteria and the
current and future challenges faced by both industrialists and providers, this
will help determine what type of service providers and services will develop:
Third Party Logistics, Lead Logistics Provider, Fourth Party
This thesis will be illustrated by a field survey of
industrialists and service providers such as Geodis, FM logistic, Alstom, DHL
Supply Chain, Johnson & Johnson, etc.
At the end of the 1980s, companies began to outsource
peripheral activities such as computers, reprography or payroll management for
The reason for this first wave of outsourcing was then
purely economic, based on cost criteria. Other factors then came to reinforce
this phenomenon, notably the lack of own capacity to perform these services.
This outsourcing could be manifested by a transfer of staff and assets to the
Outsourcing then gained ground for functional services
before finally addressing the core functions of the company. Logistics has in
fact been found directly involved in this process. The closer these outsourced
functions have become to the core of the company’s business, the more complex,
expensive and time-consuming the outsourcing process has become. Outsourcing
has therefore become a strategic decision within companies. Service providers
thus have adapt and propose more and more advanced and elaborate offers.
As far as logistics is concerned, it has moved from the
first phase of outsourcing to a logic of advanced flows, where the only
problems were to transport and store, with a logic of drawn flows, with a more
commercial-oriented vision, placing the final consumer at the center of its
concerns. The issues then became much more complex and numerous.
In fact, logistics outsourcing has evolved, offering ever
more complex services, and ever more integrated with manufacturers or
distributors. Originally composed of so-called standard services (transport
only or transport and warehousing), we have seen the appearance of much more
elaborate services, companies even going so far as to entrust to a third party
the management of all its logistics is what was called fourth party logistics,
The purpose of this thesis will be to focus on the reasons
which push an industrialist to outsource his logistics, and on the relations
that this one will maintain with his service provider.
This thesis will be articulated around the following
The phenomenon of logistics outsourcing today in France and
the strategic positioning of logistics service providers in close synergy with
industry through strong partnerships.
First of all, an inventory of the logistics outsourcing
market will be drawn up today in France. The various actors present and the
issues associated with them will be reviewed, as well as the relationship
between these protagonists.
An analysis will then be conducted to determine the elements
that will characterize, for a company, if the use of outsourcing is of
interest, and in fact what type of service will be chosen by the company. Given
these results, it will then be possible to conduct a second survey to highlight
the types of benefits that appear to have the best chance of succeeding in the
A final research will be carried out on the new challenges
for the industrialists as for the providers in the near future, on the turns
that these last ones will not have to miss to progress or simply to continue.
phenomenon of logistics outsourcing today
This first part will be used initially to define what is logistics
outsourcing, the different actors involved in this phenomenon, different types
of services offered and present today on the market.
1.1 Definition of
In this paragraph, the outsourcing in general will be
defined, then the case particular of logistics outsourcing, with the most concerned.
“Outsourcing is a service defined as the result of the
integration of a set of basic services intended to entrust to a specialized service
provider all or part of a “customer” company function within the
framework of a multi-year contract, based on fixed, with a defined level of
service and duration”. It is a technique to dissociate from outsourcing,
since using outsourcing the company, a modification of its scope of activity.
Outsourcing is therefore in a “transfer of some or all of the activities
of a firm to a contractor external specialized”.
Outsourcing can also be defined as the activity that
“consists of to procure from a provider a service that was previously
provided by the services internal of the company”. The elements taken into
account in this type of decision are varied, since all sectors of the enterprise,
for the most part, can be concerned. Thus, economic, human and organizational
criteria accounting, technical, etc … can be retained in the decision to
resort, or not, to the “outsourcing.
Even more marked than for outsourcing, the decision to
register in a decision-making process must be long-term, for two reasons :
The duration of the preparation and
implementation, as well as the commitment of financial, technical and human resources
Outsourcing relies on a contractual cooperation
between the two parts.
The implementation of an outsourcing strategy is therefore
very complex in terms of time, money and loss or acquisition of know-how.
Using outsourcing also means trusting an outside company,with
all that implies. This type of decision is therefore the fruit of a mature
reflection; especially for large groups, where strategy and decision-making aremore