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Switchpoints for the future of logistics

2011

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the University of St. Gallen's Chair of Logistics Management conducted this study in order to identify and assess switchpoints that will shape the future of the logistics industry.

Four separate "blocks" of questions were addressed. Our examination of "resources" explored whether recycled materials or new raw materials will be the main source of supply in the long term. The logic of recycling cycles was also investigated, as was the issue of water and food supply imbalances between the regions of the world and the consequences to which they could lead.

Under the heading "macroeconomics and lifestyle", we questioned whether globalization will continue to advance, or whether regional supply chain structures could make a comeback.

Questions about "networks and technology" tackled the underlying logic behind transportation networks. We explored the possible separation of cargo and passenger transport flows, whether freight streams will use central or local routing in the future, and what principles will shape distribution networks in cities and conurbations.

Finally, the "green logistics" block asked whether sustainable transportation solutions and logistics models will give companies a way to set themselves apart (what we call an "opportunity for distinction"), or whether green solutions will quite simply become the industry standard.

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