The significance of 'relationship management' as a driver of retention of clients in third party logistics (3PL) : a case study in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The principal objective of this research was to explore the trend and the role relationship management plays in keeping the Third Party Logistics (3PL) outsourcing businesses together. This research also aimed at highlighting the underlying factors in the business relationships among parties involved in Third Party Logistics (3PL) business, specifically in the New Zealand logistics industry. A literature review was conducted on a significant number of related articles to justify the research objective. This multi-case study has eight participant companies who were selected as representatives of the industry; a majority of them either market leaders or have a significant role in their business category. The eight case participants were classified into two groups: logistics service provider and logistics clients. Due to their unique operational and logistics activities, some participants fell in both categories. In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted using semi-structured questionnaires with open-ended questions to tap into the vast industry knowledge and logistics expertise of the participants. Given the infrastructure of the Australasian logistics outsourcing industry, the result of this multi-case study has supported the results, finding, and theories of the previous researchers and academics that relationship management is the key to retaining a loyal customer base and a successful business arrangement between 3PL service providers and their clients.
Supply Chain Management, Logistics Management, Logistics Outsourcing, Relationship, 3PL, Third Party Logistics, Customer Retention