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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:

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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,
or 4PL.

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.

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