Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

Innovation in the Contract Logistics industry

About the project

The research focuses on the relationship among the players interacting within the supply chain ‒ manufacturers, retailers, and Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) ‒ with the main aim of identifying and developing innovative solutions. The research is related to the Contract Logistics «Gino Marchet» Observatory, a permanent working group that critically analyses the innovative role that the Contract Logistics eco-system can play, as well as disseminates good practices in managing logistics and supply chain processes.

Principal Investigators:  Claudia Colicchia, Marco Melacini, Alessandro Perego, Sara Perotti, Elena Tappia

Researcher team: Emilio Moretti, Lorenzo Prataviera, Damiano Frosi, Eleonora Luca, Andrea Fossa

Funders: Multiple

Duration: 2011-onwards

Partners: Multiple


Launched in 2011, the Contract Logistics «Gino Marchet» Observatory aims at giving a tangible contribution to the innovation of the Contract Logistics industry through scientific empirical research and dissemination activities, focused on the role of innovation. It creates a neutral and precompetitive network in order to support companies ‒ both shippers and Logistics Service Providers ‒ to manage products, related services, and technological innovation to create value along the supply chain.

Specifically, the Observatory aims at:

  • mapping and analysing the main market trends;
  • analysing different types of collaboration which can be activated among the players operating within the supply chain;
  • analysing innovative business practices and innovative technological solutions, identifying the key drivers, barriers and enablers for their implementation along the supply chain.

The Observatory organises interactive workshops and seminars with Partners, Sponsors and logistics directors. The Research results are disseminated through scientific papers, reports, articles on national newspapers, practitioners’ journals, as well as via online channels (Observatory website and social media).

Over 1,200 participants joined the final event where the 2018 research results have been presented. The relevance of the research results also led to further meetings and conferences with representatives of the Italian government, with the aim of identifying solutions enabling the growth of this industry.


  • G. Marchet, M. Melacini, S. Perotti, C. Sassi (2018), “Types of Logistics Outsourcing and Related Impact on the 3PL Buying Process: Empirical Evidence”, International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 139-161.
  • Marchet G., Melacini M., Sassi C., Tappia E., (2017) “Assessing Efficiency and Innovation in the 3PL Industry: an Empirical Analysis”, International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, Vol. 20, No. 1-2, pp. 53-72
  • Marchet G., Melacini M., Perotti S., Sassi C., Tappia E., (2017) “Value creation models in the 3PL industry: what 3PL providers do to cope with shipper requirements”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 472-494
  • Colicchia C., Marchet G., Melacini M., Perotti S., (2013) “Building environmental sustainability: empirical evidence from Logistics Service Providers”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 59, pp. 197-209.
  • Fossa A., Marchet G., Melacini M., Perego A., “Outsourcing della logistica: commodity o scelta strategica”, Novembre 2011
  • Fossa A., Marchet G., Melacini M., Perego A., “Outsourcing della logistica: potenzialità di crescita e di innovazione”, Novembre 2012
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Marchet G., Melacini M., “Outsourcing della logistica: fra presente e futuro”, Novembre 2013
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Marchet G., Melacini M., “Outsourcing della logistica: fra falsi miti e creazione di valore”, Novembre 2014
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Marchet G., Melacini M., “La logistica chiave di successo del mondo virtuale?”, Novembre 2015
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Marchet G., Melacini M., “L’innovazione tecnologica e digitale per una logistica sempre più SMART”, Novembre 2016
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Melacini M., Tappia E., “Omnicanalità, Green e Partnership: la Logistica cambia volto”, Novembre 2017
  • Fossa A., Frosi D., Melacini M., Tappia E., “Customer Experience, Startup e 4.0: la Logistica spicca il volo!”, Novembre 2018


CEVA Logistics, CLO Servizi Logistici, Gruppo Codognotto, DHL Express, FERCAM, GEODIS, Logistica Uno Europe, Milkman, Number1 Logistics Group, Poste Italiane, San Marino Mail Italia, STEF Italia, TRASPORTI ROMAGNA, Vodafone Italia, Ambrosiano Group, BCUBE, Brivio & Viganò, BRT Corriere Espresso, Cab Log, CAL – Servizi Logistici, CD Group, D.B. Group, FATA Logistic Systems, FLEXILOG – Servizi Logistici, GLS Corriere Espresso, Innocenti Depositi, Installo, Italtrans, , Multilogistics, SAFIM, Schenker Italiana, S.I.LO – Gruppo CFT, Silvano Chiapparoli Logistica, Transmec Group, Tuvia Italia (a member of Kerry Logistics)


Logistics directors of the following companies:
Artsana Group, Basic Italia, Bayer, Bosch, Brembo, Carlsberg, Conad, Coop Consorzio Nord–Ovest, Consorzio DAFNE, Daikin, De Cecco, Decathlon, Diageo, Dompè, Dow, Electrolux, ePRICE, FINIPER, Gruppo Italiano Vini, Gucci, IKEA, Lavazza, Leader Price Italia, Lechler, LEDVANCE, Leroy Merlin, LG ELECTRONICS ITALIA, Mondelez Italia, Nestlè, OVS, Riello, Riso Scotti, SKY Italia, UNICO la farmacia dei farmacisti