GRA 6718 Distribution and Logistics Service Providers


GRA 6718 Distribution and Logistics Service Providers

Responsible for the course
Bente Merete Flygansvær

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Business Analytics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Any company is linked to other organisations, whether it is suppliers, customers, logistics service providers, or other intermediaries. The performance of the individual firm is dependent on the strength and weaknesses of its partners in the supply chain. Such distribution arrangements are developing in a global context which needs to take the environment into consideration. This development has had a significant impact on shippers and logistics service providers as well as on other participants in the distribution network. In this course strategic issues and challenges linked to the outbound part of logistics, i.e. distribution will be addressed.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
To understand the complexity that distribution in its new context represent and the implications for distribution strategies.
To understand and appreciate the vast tactical and strategic decisions logisticians have to consider when trying to navigate in logistics network consisting of a myriad of actors all trying to win the customers lust and all trying to deliver leading edge services that are sustainable in the long run.
To gain knowledge about analytical methods and tools, and their practical usage when analysing and solving comprehensive real life problems facing managers

Acquired skills
To be able to explain how complex issues can be broken down into concrete tactical and strategic decision options
To be confident enough to approach logistics issues in a creative and solution oriented way
To be able to communicate verbally and in writing how current theoretical perspectives in the field is applicable to logistics professionals

To understand the implication distribution in its new context has on future distribution choices
To be experience first hand how real life logistics problems can be tackled using an array of perspectives, tools and creative solutions


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading

The literature in the course is comprised of selected articles and book chapters on the topic of distribution and logistics service providers. The readings will be taken from logistics and supply chain management journals and books, such as International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, The International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Logistics Research and Application, Industrial Marketing Management, Long Range Planning, Production and Operations Management and also related literature from European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research.

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading

Course outline
Major topics to be covered include:
The role of transport in the economy and global trade
Transport modes
Third party logistics from shipper and carrier perspectives
Costing and pricing Information Management and Technology
Distribution arrangements
Environmental considerations in distribution and transport

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

Learning through a mix of theoretical readings and other material, group assignments and presentations, and class interaction and contribution. The workload is moderate but the final grade reflects the work the students have put into the different parts of the course. Students are required to actively participate in case presentations and discussions.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:

Group evaluation one case 30%
Hand-in of case work
Reasonable length of case is maximum 10 type-written pages on paper size A4, with line spacing of 1 ½ lines (exclusive appendix). Recommended layout is 5 cm left margin, 1 cm right margin, 2 cm at the top of the page and 3 cm at the bottom. All pages must be numbered. An abstract should be provided as well as a table of contents directly following the front page.

Each group is expected to present their case. After every group has presented the class will collectively discuss the alternatives and participate in joint reflections.

Class participation 20%
Each student will be expected to attend class and participate in discussions.

Term paper 50%
The theme of the term paper will be published at semester start.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Class participation 20%
Case work 30%
Term paper 50%

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi.

Examination code(s)
GRA 67181 continuous assessment accounts for 100% of the final grade in GRA 6718

Examination support materials

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honor Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academy integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.