Logistics Research Paper

Logistics Research Paper

You will be writing a short research paper in this class as part of the course objectives. The paper assignment is broken down into several milestones. All the milestones except for the topic approval are optional but are highly recommended in order to stay on track with paper submission.

Topic (required for approval) Each student is responsible for selecting a topic for the research paper. Logistics has several interesting dimensions. These include, but are not limited to, inventory, warehousing, transportation and materials handling. As you consider a problem area as a possible topic for your Individual paper, you should do preliminary research to find an aspect that is both personally interesting to you. Keep in mind that the paper should be no less than 8 pages and no more than 10 pages in length (this is for the body only and does not include the cover page, table of contents or reference page). Please note: There will not be points deducted if the paper runs slightly over 10 pages. Just keep the page length reasonable.

As you think about a topic for your paper, you should try to start with a broad topic and then narrow it down to a topic that will fit the page requirements. Common ways to limit the topic include selecting a particular industry, considering a type of product, and domestic versus international logistics.

You should develop a goal in developing the research paper. This goal will also help you narrow the topic and identify where you want to focus your research.

Some examples of goals include:

1. Recognize the importance of strategic logistical issues and their relationship to attainment of supply chain objectives.

2. Measure the environmental forces, trends, and strategic issues facing organizations in both the public, private and non-profit sectors so that students can devise logistics strategies that can deal with these circumstances.

3. Apply the evolving concepts of supply chain management and how the logistics function is expanding into a larger and more proactive role in managing the complete materials cycle. Students will be challenged to devise logistics strategies that mutually support the organization’s marketing and financial efforts.

4. Recognize the importance of internal and external partnering and how logistics organizations are devising strategies where logistics plays a key role within the organization.

5. Devise logistics strategies that consider overall cost of ownership, quality, best value, and optimal inventory objectives.

6. Devise logistics strategies for use of third-party logistics service providers for fulfilling requirements.

7. Recognize trends in international logistics and what factors logistics professionals should consider in planning international logistics options.

8. Apply the broader responsibilities of logistics so that they can contribute to ethical organizational practices, meeting environmental objectives, and improve the attainment of socio-economic programs.

9. Devise a futuristic perspective of what logistics will be like in the next century by examining trends and research on the knowledge and skill requirements for the logistics in the next decade.

10. Recognize the importance of logistics in dealing with natural and humanitarian disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina or war.

11. The course goals / objects are also another source of topic ideas. As previously mentioned, these goals are not topics per se. Instead, your topic should be a sub-set to meet one of the goals. For example, a research paper topic based upon item number 2 above may be: “Comparing the logistical challenges facing for-profit organization and non-profit agencies after a natural disaster.”

The outline can be submitted the week after the topic selection. It serves as a preliminary roadmap for the paper’s coverage. The topic, major headings, and sub-areas are sufficient for the outline. Continuing the example mentioned under the “Topic Selection,” an appropriate outline can be:

1) Introduction

a) Definition of for-profit and non-profit agencies

b) Definition of a natural disaster

2) Financial Logistics

a) Definition for

i) Customers

ii) Logistics Measures

b) Differences

c) Similarities

3) Warehousing Management

a) Types of warehouses

b) Locations

c) Design Considerations

4) Transportation

a) Issues

b) Considerations

5) Conclusions

a) Effect upon organization

b) Recommendations

6) Works Cited

Submission Requirements

The individual Paper should exemplify graduate level writing and strictly comply with the format requirements of the APA- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2008, 6th ed). Please make sure that you comply with this manual, since points will be deducted for non-adherence. Careful attention must be given to the statement of the research question, source citations, proper listing of references, margins and headings.


The paper should be typed, double-spaced using a standard typeface. Please use a 10 to 12 point font (use your judgment based upon the font selected) and use 1 inch margins. The main topic content should be about 9-10 pages.

Course Content / Logistics Activities:

Your paper should tie into the material covered in class, as well as the conferences. It should also highlight how your topic ties into the logistics activities described in your text (see pages 18-19). You should describe the interrelationships of these activities while discussing your problem area.

Evidence of Research:

Your paper should provide evidence that you’ve read the literature that’s included in the bibliography of the paper. This can be done by referencing works throughout the paper or quoting an author in the text.


As a research paper, this paper requires that you conduct a search for material. You should include at least 6 reliable scholarly references in the paper. You should use the UMUC library to find relevant research from reliable sources. You may also include non-library sources in your research from reputable sources.

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