Chapter 6: The Multimodal Transport of Flowers between Taiwan and China
6 The multimodal transport of flowers between Taiwan and China Anthony Beresford and Chang Zheng 1 Introduction According to Coyle et al. (2003), in 1999 outbound physical distribution costs represented 7.3 per cent of sales and outbound transportation costs amount to 3.2 per cent of sales, or 30.1 per cent of total distribution costs. At the same time, in the globalised economy, supply chains have become increasingly long, leading to a substantial spatial gap between the origin and final destination of the cargo. ‘This increased spatial gap results in greater transportation costs. In addition, operations within this international marketplace require more transportation time, which necessitates higher inventories and resulting higher storage costs’ (ibid., p. 339). Under such circumstances, to make the whole logistics system efficient and economical, not only should transportation costs be well controlled, but the transport time should also be minimised as well, since transport is one of the chief lead-time-consuming activities in logistics. It has long been recognised that a single transport mode can rarely provide a satisfactory link between supplier and customer over long distances (Hayuth, 1987; McKinnon, 1989; Waters, 2007). The ability to chain together several transport modes in a seamless way is therefore essential to achieve the efficiencies demanded by logistics managers. 1.1 General background to the study Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs statistics show that Taiwan’s exports to, and imports from, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) across the Taiwan Straits are very large (Minsitry of Economic Affairs – ROC, 2008). The route between...
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