Jens Mehmann


This article aims at developing an understanding of the factors that promote the adoption of fourth party logistics (4PL) within German agricultural bulk logistics; hereafter referred to as diffusion factors. In order to elaborate upon the diffusion factors, we based our research on an exploratory study, and applied the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework. Within the scope of our research, we extracted those factors (e.g. external and internal logistics information technology, technology, size, services) predominantly contributing to the adoption of a 4PL approach. The study concentrates on the sector of German agricultural bulk logistics in which the 4PL approach is not implemented yet. The findings have important implications for the development of a 4PL approach within the sector. Our study provides an overview of prevailing characteristics of further diffusion factors in view of the main technologies, organizational structures and environmental influences.