Estimating the size of the national logistics market: A method to include both market-based demand and in-house services

Tomi Solakivi*, Lauri Ojala, Harri Lorentz, Juuso Töyli, Sini Laari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The size of the logistics market is typically estimated from the national accounting and market data. However, this data does not take certain in-house logistics services into account and most likely underestimates the true size of the market. The purpose of this paper is to develop a method for estimating the potential size of the logistics market in terms of overall logistics expenditure and to also account for in-house services. Design/methodology/approach: The research approach involves combining longitudinal industry- and firm-level turnover data, incorporating survey data from Finland on logistics outsourcing and costs, and calculating yearly logistics expenditure and the market demand for logistics services. Descriptive statistics, weighted arithmetic means and analyses of variance are employed in the estimations. Findings: The research suggests and demonstrates a rigorous method for estimating the size of the logistics market, including both market-based demand and in-house services. Research limitations/implications: The empirical data used to illustrate the result are limited to a single country. The methodology should be further validated with data from other countries. The quality of the survey data could be improved by targeting multiple informants from a single firm. Social implications: One outcome of the research is that policymakers will be better able to estimate the size of the logistics market on a national level. For service providers, the results provide additional information on the market potential of logistics services. Originality/value: The novelty of the research lies in combining multiple data sources and expanding the estimation of the logistics market to include services provided in-house.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-503
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Costs
  • Logistics expenditure
  • Logistics market size
  • Outsourcing
  • Survey methodology


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