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Logistics and Customer Service Revisited

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

Submission deadline: 31 September 2017 (all papers should be submitted to the Logistics Customer Service Revisited option on Manuscript Central).

Guest Editors: Professor Benjamin Hazen and Alex Ellinger

Customer service is the tangible output of physical distribution and logistics management that increasingly enables firms to differentiate their value proposition when goods become commoditized, often representing the most viable opportunity for customer acquisition and retention.  Beyond maintaining adequate service levels per contractual agreement, fully understanding and satisfying customer requirements through logistics service provision provides a foundation for building long-term collaborative relationships. Thus, in today’s fast-paced, technology-enabled business environment the need to provide unparalleled customer service is an even more critical differentiator in the marketplace. 

Surprisingly, however, literature searches on logistics and customer service reveal very little research focus on the topic over the past several years. Following a flurry of seminal work in the 1990s (e.g., Ellinger et al. 1997; Langley Jr. & Holcomb, 1992; Innis & La Londe, 1994; Rinehart et al., 1989), research on logistics customer service has waned as logistics and supply chain management (L/SCM) scholars have focused on other important topics such as buyer-supplier issues. As a result, a notable gap in the literature with respect to customer service has developed. Yet customer service is as – or even more – timely and relevant than ever. Recent research by Stank et al. (forthcoming) calls attention to the important role of customer service within the logistics/supply chain domain of research. The opportunity to further explore phenomena specific to the logistics customer service domain represents a significant area for future contribution to knowledge.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to re-invigorate and revisit important research on customer service in L/SCM. All papers relating to customer service are welcomed, and suggested topics of high interest include the following:

• Integrating L/SCM customer service within and between organizations
• Innovative approaches for improving L/SCM customer service
• Outcomes of L/SCM customer service
• Defining and measuring L/SCM customer service
• The up-channel firm’s role in serving the supply chain’s end- customers/consumers
• Customer’s/consumer’s perceptions of L/SCM customer service: what aspects are valued? How can firms leverage L/SCM to influence customer patronage?
• Expectations of customers to reciprocate service to suppliers
• How customer/consumer behavior affects L/SCM customer service
• Middle range theories on L/SCM customer service
• Financial aspects of logistics customer service provision
• Strategic customer service innovation in L/SCM
• Sustainability aspects of L/SCM service provision
• Third party logistics provider L/SCM service provision initiatives

In preparing manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines here:
Prospective authors are also encouraged to submit abstracts of their papers to the Guest Editors in advance of full submission to assure proper fit. All articles should be submitted in English. We strongly advise that non-native English speakers have their manuscripts proofread prior to submission.
In addition, the final version of the manuscripts can be approximately 10000 words in length, including references, figures and tables.
Submission guidelines
To submit your paper online you must first create an author account at then follow the on-screen guidance which takes you through the submission process. If you do not have an author account on International Journal of Physical Logistics and Distribution Management then you will need to create yourself an account, even if you have an account on a different journal. Please see the instructions below explaining how to register.
Registering on ScholarOne Manuscripts
• Log on to
• Click on the create account link at the top right of the screen.
• Follow the on-screen instructions, filling in the requested details before proceeding.
• Your username will be your email address and you have to input a password.
• Click 'Finish' and your account has been created.
Submitting an article

• Once Registered go to: with your username and password. This will take you through to the Welcome page.
• Click on the Author Centre button.
• Click on the “click here to submit a new manuscript” link.
• Complete all fields and browse to upload your article. Please include your structured abstract in your article file.
• At the 'please select the type of issue' highlight “Logistics and Customer Service Revisited” in the dropdown list.
• You must upload a minimum of 2 files: your article file (with no author details), a separate title page (with all author contact details).
• When all required sections are completed, preview your .PDF proof.
• Submit your manuscript.
• You will receive an email indicating that your paper has been received together with its unique identity number.

Please contact Dr. Ben Hazen (see below) if you require any assistance.
Guest Editors
Dr. Ben Hazen
Department of Operational Sciences
Air Force Institute of Technology, USA
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Alex Ellinger
Department of Marketing
The University of Alabama, USA
Email: ael[email protected]

Submission deadline
Full paper submissions are due 31 September 2017 (All papers should be submitted to the Logistics and Customer Service Revisited option on ScholarOne).

Ellinger, Alexander E., Patricia J. Daugherty, and Craig M. Gustin. "The relationship between integrated logistics and customer service." Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 33.2 (1997): 129-138.
 Innis, Daniel E., and Bernard J. La Londe. (1994). "Customer service: the key to customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and market share." Journal of Business Logistics Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 1.
Langley Jr, C. John, and Mary C. Holcomb. (1992). "Creating logistics customer value." Journal of Business Logistics 13, No. 2, pp. 1.
Rinehart, Lloyd M., M. Bixby Cooper, and George D. Wagenheim. (1989). "Furthering the integration of marketing and logistics through customer service in the channel." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 63-71.
Stank, T.P.; Pellathy, D.; In, J., Mollenkopf, D.A.; Bell, J.E. (forthcoming). New Frontiers in Logistics Research:  Theorizing at the Middle Range. Journal of Business Logistics.