Research in third-party logistics (3PL) has expanded rapidly in the past fifteen years, providing a significant amount of empirical, survey-based 3PL research. The authors identify forty-five such papers and then examine topics, methodologies, and analytical approaches to assess opportunities for future research in the field. As is common during the emerging stages of a research stream, the authors find that much of the current 3PL literature has been exploratory in nature. The authors subsequently present several possible directions for enriching the field for both researchers and practitioners, including the integration of extant theory and the use of more advanced methodologies and statistical analyses.

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