Why is Memphis home to hundreds of motor carrier terminals and distribution centers? Why does the tiny island-nation of Singapore handle a fifth of the world’s maritime containers and half the world’s annual supply of crude oil? Which jobs can replace lost manufacturing jobs in advanced economies? Some of the answers to these questions are rooted in the phenomenon of logistics clusters—geographically concentrated sets of logistics related business activities. In this book, supply chain management expert Yossi Sheffi explains why Memphis, Singapore, Chicago, Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and scores of other locations have been successful in developing such clusters while others have not.
Sheffi outlines the characteristic “positive feedback loop” of logistics clusters development and what differentiates them from other industrial clusters; how logistics clusters “add value” by generating other industrial activities; why firms should locate their distribution and value-added activities in logistics clusters; and the proper role of government support, in the form of investment, regulation, and trade policy.
Sheffi also argues for the most important advantage offered by logistics clusters in today’s recession-plagued economy: jobs, many of them open to low-skilled workers, that are concentrated locally and not “offshorable.” These logistics clusters offer what is rare in today’s economy: authentic success stories. For this reason, numerous regional and central governments as well as scores of real estate developers are investing in the development of such clusters.
The MIT Press
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142