Strategic partner evaluation criteria for logistics service provider networks

Hella Abidi, Wout Dullaert, Sander De Leeuw*, Darek Lysko, Matthias Klumpp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to establish criteria for evaluating strategic partners in a network of logistics service providers (LSPs) to show how analytical network process (ANP) can be used to identify the weights of these criteria on a case-specific basis, and to investigate whether the ANP model can be used as a starting point to evaluate strategic partners for other LSP networks. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a literature review of vertical cooperation, the authors develop an overview of criteria for the evaluation of partners in a network of LSPs. The authors then apply ANP at LSP1 to validate the criteria, identify weights for these criteria and to validate model outcomes. Furthermore, the authors investigate whether the ANP model developed for LSP1 can be applied to another LSP with similar characteristics (LSP2). In-depth interviews are used to draw conclusions on the modeling approach and the model outcomes. Findings: The research shows that evaluation criteria for partners in vertical partnerships between shippers and LSPs are applicable to LSP partners in horizontal partnership networks. The ANP model with criteria weights provides a good starting point for LSPs to customize the evaluation framework according to their specific needs or operating environments. Originality/value: Limited research is available on evaluating LSP partners in horizontal partnerships. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to bring forward horizontal LSP partner evaluation criteria to develop an ANP model for LSP partner evaluation and to apply this to two cases, and to provide a starting point for evaluating partners in similar horizontal LSP networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-466
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • AHP
  • Europe
  • Logistics clusters
  • Logistics industry
  • Logistics services


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