Purpose – This paper aims to identify and assess different configurations to design logistics networks in global sourcing contexts. A framework to support the choice of the most suitable logistics network is developed. Design/methodology/approach – Starting from an overview of previous research on global sourcing and global logistics network design, followed by a series of interviews with international freight forwarders and logistics providers, five main logistics network configurations are identified and the paper proposes a framework to evaluate their cost‐effectiveness, deriving the overall logistics cost by means of simulation. Findings – On the basis of the analysis of different scenarios the paper develops a taxonomy for selecting the most suitable logistics network configuration, with respect to some key logistics factors and purchasing strategies. Research limitations/implications – The analysis has been focused on ocean container shipping, the primary transportation mode for world trade. Practical implications – In a context characterised by the widespread adoption of direct shipment with full container load (FCL) ocean shipping (with implications on inventory levels), the provided taxonomy can represent a useful tool to support companies in choosing the most suitable combination of configurations for setting their global logistics network. Originality/value – The impact of globalisation on logistics network configuration has received little attention from supply chain researchers to date. The originality of the present paper is twofold. First, a framework to assess the overall logistics costs is developed. Second, the paper presents an original taxonomy for the selection of the most suitable logistics network.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 16, 2010
Keywords: World economy; Supply chain management; Transportation; Distribution management
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