Document Type



Information technology has allowed motor carriers to enhance the visibility of the service process to provide shippers an incentive for shipper/carrier partnerships. In today’s business environment, information technology offers customers the ability to take an active part in the service process, without actually being present in the service setting. Since the transportation industry represents a service characterized by low customer contact, little information exchange and a lack of influence over the production process; marketing challenges are great and high sales opportunities are minimal. In an attempt to overcome these problems, motor carriers have installed satellite communications systems to increase customer contact and interaction that will lead to greater customer satisfaction and long term relationships. A number of case studies of shippers that currently use carriers employing satellite communications are examined and the potential benefits discussed. An inventory-theoretic model of transportation choice is developed and future research directions are discussed.