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The impact of robotics and automation on logistics

One of the most talked about subjects at the WEF meeting at Davos 2014, was the impact which advances in manufacturing technology will have on production.  Robotics, 3D Printing and other automation will have undoubted implications for global supply chains.

Japan’s logistics market: Open or Shut for business?

John Manners-Bell and Hiroaki Hamabe

At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Prime Minister Abe of Japan declared to the conference that he would be pushing through a concerted programme of reforms in order to continue the momentum which has been created in the Japanese economy.

After visiting the country in 2010, we wrote that there were signs that Japanese industry, and specifically its logistics industry, was becoming more open to third party logistics services.

In […]

How will logistics benefit from the economic upturn?

John Manners-Bell and David Buckby, Transport Intelligence

With the global economy seeming to be in better shape than for many years, it would seem a good point at which to examine prospects for the global logistics industry. Economics and logistics output are, of course, inextricably linked.

Economists believe that emerging markets will continue to grow faster than developed economies throughout the rest of the year. However, the performance of the Western world will improve in 2014 […]

Supply chain taking centre stage at Davos

The World Economic Forum’s meeting at Davos is a unique environment in which high level political and economic debate overlaps with in-depth discussion of micro-economic trends.

At Davos 2014, for example, delegates in the Congress Hall heard from David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister, about the importance of supply chain to the future of the UK’s manufacturing industry and economy. Perhaps as interesting as the content of his speech was his range of vocabulary, talking […]

WEF Davos: New models needed to exploit international e-retailing opportunities

The past few years have seen a phenomenal growth in the adoption of internet shopping by consumers throughout Europe. However there are still fears that its progress is being hindered by the failure in provision of logistics services, especially on an international basis.

In 2011 the European Commission published a green paper which initiated a consulting process concerning how e-retailing, and in particular international e-retailing, could be encouraged. It concluded that consumers are put off […]

New infographic! Logistics and Transport in China

Using info from my recent book Global Logistics Strategies: Delivering the Goods, Kogan Page has created a handy infographic

Global supply chains receive boost from WTO deal

After 5 days of intense negotiation, the World Trade Organisation Bali Ministerial Conference ended in success. The so-called ‘Bali Package’, which consists of a selection of measures to reduce global trade barriers, was finally adopted and represents the first multilateral trade deal which the WTO has been able to broker for 12 years.

The WTO commented that it hoped that, ‘… would reinvigorate the WTO and its trading system, and provide the momentum to […]

Honda production disruption demonstrates supply chain risks

The fragility of global supply chains has been shown up once more by news that Honda’s production at its Swindon, UK plan has been suspended by a disruption to the supply of parts.

According to the manufacturer, the components are still on a container vessel destined for the Port of Southampton. Its journey has reportedly been delayed by bad weather.

One particularly interesting facet of this incident is that Honda is assuring its customers that they […]

Global Logistics Strategy: Delivering the Goods Book Launch

Global Logistics Strategies Book Launch Video

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to the book launch, in this video I outline some of the key themes of Global Logistics Strategies: Delivering the Goods

Embrace ethical supply chains – or risk rolling back globalisation

The fire at Rana Plaza, Bangladesh in early 2013 raised major questions over the sourcing policies employed by global manufacturers and retailers. Although the disaster specifically related to the fashion industry, there have been concerns in all sectors about wages and working conditions of suppliers in remote locations in emerging parts of the world. Not only are there labour issues – question marks hang over the environmental standards of suppliers, raising worries that some […]