Surfing the Digital Wave
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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