The effects of in-transit inventory financing on the capital-constrained supply chain

Bangdong Zhi, Xiaojun Wang*, Fangming Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


In-transit inventory financing is gaining popularity as an alternative way to access financing. However, compared with other financing means such as trade credit and bank loans, the effects on the supply chain of a third-party logistics provider (TPL) providing in-transit inventory financing are seldom investigated. This study adopts a channel competition model to examine the impact of such financing on the supply chain. Through comparative analysis with conventional financing approaches, we find that the availability of in-transit inventory financing allows retailers to take advantage of a lower financing fee for trade credit, even when the demand for trade credit decreases. In addition, the TPL-provided financing service can lead to a reduction in financing fee for both trade credit and in-transit inventory financing when both the supplier and retailers have financing demand or the TPL is subject to a high degree of risk aversion. Finally, when the TPL has the first-mover advantage in setting its financing fee, the supplier with a financing demand pays a lower financing fee to the TPL due to the decreased demand for in-transit inventory financing. In this case, we find that the low logistics cost, the low unit product price without trade credit and a high financing ratio can make in-transit inventory financing more attractive than trade credit. Our results have important implications for the implementation of in-transit inventory financing in supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Mar 2021


  • in-transit inventory financing
  • logistics providers
  • capital constraint
  • trade credit
  • channel competition

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