Chapter 2: Multinational industrial and global logistics corporations
Multinational industrial corporations (MICs) have arisen since the Second World War (1939–45) from a massive restructuring of individual manufacturing firms and industries accompanying the transformation of both the world and national economies. Until the 1960s and 1970s manufacturing firms and sectors built their entire supply chains to undertake all stages of their productive tasks within a single country. Since the 1980s and 1990s these earlier and shallower factory-centric patterns have been superseded, as retailers have joined manufacturers in unbundling their processes and tasks to stretch their supply chains across national borders to take advantage of the lower costs offshore (Baldwin, 2013). By decentralizing their respective activities on a transnational scale manufacturers and retailers have become multinational corporations geared to marketing products worldwide under common brand names (for example, Dell and Walmart). As their activities have spread across countries, multinationals, including those based in the Asian-Pacific Rim, have been able to take advantage of the reciprocal movements of goods, ideas, technology, capital and technicians between the headquarters economy and factory economies (Athukorala, 2007; Howard, 2010; Kimura, 2013). As the geographical reach of multinational manufacturers and retailers extended beyond in-house logistics capabilities, their international supply chains, incorporating the Asian-Pacific Rim, have become increasingly complex and prone to greater disruptions (WEF, 2012).
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