Review of Pharmaceutical Sea Freight and Malaysian Third-Party Logistics Service Providers—A Supply Chain Perspective
Logistics is the backbone of trade because it integrates the supply chain for trade facilitation of all businesses including pharmaceuticals. The objective of this article is to review pharmaceutical ocean logistics trends and issues, and four Malaysian third-party logistics (3PL) research publications consisting of service quality, cost and service differentiation, integration and information system of freight-forwarding and container freight. The publication review is to ascertain if third-party logistics are potentially capable of supporting ocean pharma non-cold chain freight to pre-empt medicine shortages and identify challenges of the logistics supply chain. The research showed logistics service quality impacts customers’ satisfaction, low costs and service differentiation influence firms’ sustainable financial competitiveness, integration of depot and hauliers enhances national logistics performance, information system affects supply chain integration (SCI), and SCI affects operational and environmental performance. These studies involved third-party logistics service providers (LSP) along the supply chain which were freight-forwarding companies and their customers, and the container depots and hauliers. The review provides research evidence of logistics service quality potentially capable of meeting the requirements of conventional ocean-going non-cold chain pharma container freight as featured in professional logistics publications. Medicine shortages attributed to freight forwarders are unlikely noting their agility and robustness in the face of economic uncertainties. They are agile enough to manage factors internal and external to the firms. The research also provides suggestions to the SCI challenges confronting the conventional ocean container freight supply chain at the depot-haulier interface to forestall delays. This article reviews relate to research investigations of 3PL in Malaysia, a country sitting in the heart of Southeast Asia.
KeywordsPharmaceutical sea freight Malaysia Third-party logistics 3PL Logistics Southeast Asia
List of Abbreviations
Availability of Alternatives
Average Variance Extracted
Cross Functional Application Integration
Functional logistics service quality
Gross Domestic Product
Heterotrait-monotrait ratio of correlations
Integration factors between Depots and Hauliers
Logistics Performance Index
Logistics Service Providers
Logistics Service Quality
Physical Distribution Service Quality
Supply Chain Integration
Service Quality of Depot
Technical logistics service quality
Third Party Logistics
The first author would like to thank COST Action CA15105, European Medicines Shortages Research Network, addressing supply problems to patients (Medicines Shortages). Further thanks are extended to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, British Academy and Newton-Ungku Omar Fund (grant number 304/PMGT/650912/B130 and 304/PMGT/6316295) to complete this research project.
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