Journal of Transportation Management


This article revisits private warehouse investment decision making, a topic previously examined in 1989 by McGinnis, Kohn, and Myers (1990). Since then there has been a substantial amount of discussion regarding the scope and nature of logistics /supply chain management. In particular the roles of private, contract, and public warehousing has been discussed, increased emphasis on financial performance and strategic decision making may have altered the criteria for investment decisions in private warehousing, increased coordination of supply chains may have altered the relative importance of private, contract, and private warehousing, and increasing emphasis on controlling inventory investment may have shifted inventory responsibilities onto suppliers and customers. Empirical data was collected in 1999and 2008 regarding warehouse investment decisions in large United State manufacturing firms. This research focused on private warehouse investment decisions, topics that might affect those decisions, and the mix of private, contract, public, and other warehouse options. The results of the 1999 and 2008 data were compared to the earlier findings reported by McGinnis, Kohn, and Myers. Changes in private warehouse investment strategies, the roles of market /product mix uncertainties and availability of for-hire warehouse providers, and changes in warehouse mix were examined. Implications for practitioners, teachers, and researchers of transportation, supply chain management, logistics, and warehousing are discussed.