Globalized Freight Transport

Globalized Freight Transport

Intermodality, E-Commerce, Logistics and Sustainability

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Edited by Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri

The worldwide movement of freight has emerged as one of the most critical and dynamic aspects of the transport sector. The contributors to this study examine the current state of global freight transport, with an emphasis on Europe and North America and their extra-regional linkages. These original contributions synthesize existing knowledge, highlight new developments, problems and possible solutions, and underscore the need for further research.

Chapter 6: E-Commerce, Logistics and the Future of Globalized Freight

William P. Anderson and Thomas R. Leinbach

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


William P. Anderson and Thomas R. Leinbach INTRODUCTION E-commerce may be defined broadly as the trading of goods and services over computer-mediated networks (Eurostat 2002). Computer-mediated networks may be either private or public, but in recent years there has been a massive shift from private networks toward the ‘open’ Internet. E-commerce activities are generally divided into two categories: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). While an earlier paper (Anderson et al. 2003) focused on B2C e-commerce, this chapter will focus on B2B. More specifically, this chapter seeks to assess the potential influence of expanded B2B e-commerce on volumes, patterns and structure of freight services. As Table 6.1 shows, 94 per cent of the shipments classified as e-commerce by the US Bureau of the Census in 2003 were in the B2B category; 21 per cent of all manufacturing shipments to other firms were classed as e-commerce, as compared with only 1.7 per cent of retail sales (US Bureau of the Census 2005). B2B also dominated e-commerce in the European Union, with a share of 87 per cent in 2001. Table 6.2 illustrates that, as in the US, manufacturing Table 6.1 E-commerce penetration in US industries, 2003 E-commerce as % of total sales Total B2B Manufacturing Wholesale B2C Retail Other services 10.1 19.0 21.2 16.9 1.3 1.7 1.0 Share of total e-commerce 100 94.3 49.8 44.5 5.7 3.0 2.7 Source: US Bureau of the Census (2005). 167 168 Globalized freight, sustainability, E-commerce and technology Table 6.2 Per cent of...

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