In order to improve operational efficiency, many companies have chosen to outsource part or all of their logistics activities to third parties. By doing that, company can focus more on its core activities. Green, Turner, Roberts, Nagendra & Wininger (2008) have found out that third-party logistics (3PL) companies typically offer services that cover warehousing, distribution, inventory control, packaging and transportation, such as contracting and procuring transportation procurement, managing inventories, consulting and managing logistics, auditing and consulting freights, tracking and tracing shipments and offering reverse logistics and other value added services.
As disadvantage for 3PL is loss of control in some activities in the supply chain, but it is overcome by the main benefit - 3PL knowledge and expertise in the field.
2.3. Supply Chain Collaboration
In the past few decades companies have been looking into how they could collaborate with their clients and suppliers in order to ensure that the supply chain is efficient and responsive to market current needs (Fawcett & Magnan, 2004; Lejeune & Yakova, 2005). Dependency on each other in the current world market has become that important that one organization cannot reach the required efficiency level alone (Mehrjerdi, 2009). Collaboration consists of developing strategies in which two or more independent external or internal actors with different roles in the supply chain achieve their common aim in a competitive environment. These aims usually cannot be achieved by working separately. (Kumar & Banerjee, 2012). Therefore we can conclude that collaboration in the supply chain is vital to achieve competitive advantage and to improve companies’ processes.
Managing supply chain successfully involves such challenges as developing trust between members and collaboration with them (Mehrjerdi, 2009).
Collaboration between involved parties is significantly important. Collaboration, which is aimed at process integration in a supply chain, might impact total supply chain favorably (Lorentz, 2008). Lorentz (2008) also states that supply chain collaboration would reduce supply chain uncertainty, especially when it comes to shipments which are crossing borders. Collaboration will increase information and knowledge sharing. Even though Russia with a certain country (Finland in this case) has long history and experience in supply chain operations which are crossing borders, it does not mean that supply chain collaboration will be a success, but companies with large export volumes and which have high frequency will have higher positive performance level.
Ramathan & Gunasekaran (2012) have found out that collaborative planning, execution and decision making will lead to success of collaboration, but most likely collaborative planning and decision making will not mean that these activities will happen also in the future, collaborative execution will though. Success of collaboration will lead also to future...