THE ROLE OF LOGISTICS SERVICE PROVIDERS IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Logistics service providers are an important factor in the business success of companies engaged in trade activities at national and international level. They play an important role in achieving competitive advantages of business entities directly involved in the buying and selling in international trade. The main objective of engaging logistics intermediaries, such as logistics service providers, is to facilitate the operation of companies that deal with the buying and selling at international level in regards to the organization of shipment and / or delivery of goods. As the business processes and business entities in international trade are becoming more complex, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage all of the activities on one’s own. Logistics intermediaries are, on the other hand, qualified to manage certain areas of business operations.
Logistics intermediaries come in different forms and under different names, but they all have the same goal: to provide help to companies in the transportation, storage, shipment and the distribution of goods from the seller to the buyer or the final consumer, of course, for a certain fee. This research revolves around logistics intermediaries in international trade such as international freight forwarders, 3PL, 4PL or LLP. The objective of this paper is to, based on the analysis of the different types of logistics intermediaries, their classification, functions, the ways they facilitate business operations for international companies, indicate the benefits of their engagement and the differences and similarities among them.
Key words: international trade, intermediaries, international freight forwarders, logistics service providers