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Consumer Logistics

Surfing the Digital Wave

Peter J. Rimmer and Booi Hon Kam

Digital technology has changed the way we work, socialize, shop, play and learn. This book offers a stimulating exploration of how digitization has begun transforming the prevailing global logistics system into a self-service and sharing economy, and ultimately provides a vision of the monumental changes likely to overflow into the business landscape.
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Chapter 2: Four great logistics waves

Surfing the Digital Wave

Peter J. Rimmer and Booi Hon Kam

Extract

Since the 1950s four great waves have surfaced as logistics evolved into a recognized academic discipline and structured professional practice. The key attributes of each of these waves — physical distribution management, business logistics, supply chain management and global logistics — are identified by detailing their contextual issues, distinctive characteristics, operational focus, prime technological drivers and operational strategies. Then a description is given of how one wave gave way to the next in each of the transitions. Arguably, the current wave of global logistics is losing momentum due to the overwhelming effect that digitization is having on influencing consumer behaviour and the consumer-purchasing journey. Evidence is adduced that global logistics may be receding, giving way to the fifth great wave of Consumer Logistics.

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