Port Cities and Trading Networks in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, 13th–21st Century
Chapter 15: Competition between Logistic Hubs in Asia
Logistics can be defined as a ‘process of planning, implementing and controlling the flows and storage of raw materials, finished and part-finished goods, services and related information, from the point of origin to the point of consumption’.1 Logistics is the mastery of the trilogy ‘space-timecommunications’, and concerns not only the management of physical flows, but also that of information flows dealing with customs clearance, storage, grouping, transport (by road, train, sea or air) and the distribution of goods. THE EVOLUTION OF LOGISTICS The logistic chain transfers a given product from the producer to the end-user and thus marks the passage from industrial service to information service. It is a question of adding value to the process of delivering a product to the right place at the right price, by proposing ‘one-stop shopping’ for these different services. To do this, logistics includes four main types of operations: first, those which are related to production, such as consolidation (outbound logistics): as soon as an order is placed, the client is informed of the situation at every stage, from production to delivery. This seamless management of production flows allows the client to increase production in Malaysia, for example, if production in Taiwan is running behind schedule. Next, logistics concerns operations related to distribution (inbound logistics). It is based on the analysis of supply flows and the configuration of the shops to be served. Powerful information systems are needed to manage the flow of supplies to shops, which are often very small, on a...
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