Driving More Efficient Logistics Networks through Horizontal Collaboration: Part III
October 29, 2012
Editor’s Note: Dr. Maria Jesus Saenz is Professor of Supply Chain Management and
PhD Program Director at the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program,
Zaragoza Logistics Center, Zaragoza, Spain
Threats and Opportunities
So far the research has identified both the benefits and success factors of horizontal collaboration in the logistics space, and mapped the evolutionary curve of these relationships. The findings also highlighted some of the pitfalls, and there are three that are worth noting.
• Problems in synchronizing supply chain processes and its dynamics.
• Impaired supply chain visibility across the shared portion of the networks because one partner is lacking in this area.
• Too much complexity in the supply chain – resulting from increased market volatility, for example – is making it difficult for one or both partners to maintain their commitment to the relationship.
In the next stage of the research we will create a framework for helping companies to develop and sustain successful collaborative relationships in logistics. As part of that effort, a new survey of companies in Europe is planned for quantifying the potential effects of these strategies.
Hopefully, the further deployment of these strategies will create successful partnerships that will remove many of the obstacles that have frustrated initiatives of this kind. If sharing transportation capacity becomes a common logistics strategy, the benefits in terms of network efficiency and environmental sustainability will be huge.
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