Logistics Clusters Delivering Value and Driving Growth

by Press Release on 2012-09-28 01:00:03

Yossi SheffiWhy 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?

Yossi Sheffi’s book Logistics Clusters: Delivering Value and Driving Growth (MIT Press / October 2012 / $29.95) takes an in-depth look to the answers to some of these questions as well as the development of logistics clusters, which are geographically concentrated sets of logistics-related companies, distributors, and the logistics functions of retailers and manufacturers.

This accessible, nontechnical book is based on primary research including interviews and data collection from logistics hubs around the world, including those found in Singapore, China, Germany, Holland, Spain, panama, Brazil, Chicago, New York, Miami, Louisville, Memphis, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, and many more. Sheffi describes the mechanisms necessary to the formation, growth, and success of these clusters. The book not only documents the history and traits of successful logistics clusters—closely examining the leading characteristic of the “positive feedback loop” associated with such clusters—but also explains what differentiates logistics clusters from other industrial clusters, how logistics clusters “add value” by generating industrial activities, and outlines why firms, as well as local and regional governments should invest in such clusters.

Logistics Clusters goes beyond the scope of just logistics, however, and argues that the development of and investment in logistics clusters are part of the solution to today’s economic problems. Sheffi argues that because logistics clusters serve a multitude of manufacturers, retailers, and distributors they are not dependent on any one industry and therefore can play a leading role in easing unemployment pressures by not only creating, but sustaining jobs. These jobs, many of which are available to both low- and highly-skilled workers, are concentrated locally and are therefore are difficult to off-shore and can bring about economic development.  

About the Author
Yossi Sheffi, an international expert in supply chain management, is Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. He has worked with leading manufacturers around the world on logistics issues and is an active entrepreneur, having founded or cofounded five companies since 1987.

Logistics Clusters Book “Yossi Sheffi succinctly summarizes the major current developments in worldwide logistics in this well written book.”
— Federick W. Smith, Chairman & CEO, FedEx Corporation

“An Insightful book, with real world cases from all over the world, that show the benefits of logistics clusters. An interesting read for logistics professionals and certainly for us at Port of Rotterdam Authority, who focus on developing a vital port cluster both in Rotterdam and in some selected emerging clusters around the world.”
—Hans N.J. Smits, President and CEO, Port of Rotterdam Authority

“Logistics has become an essential part of competition and the modern global economy. Logistics clusters, in which sets of logistics activities co-locate and concentrate in particular locations, have emerged across the globe. Such clustering unlocks large positive externalities and economic growth in logistics while stimulating related economic diversification in logistically intensive fields. Yossi Sheffi’s book provides a fascinating description of the power of clusters in services and the evolution of logistics clusters globally. This interesting book shows how clusters are getting more important in the global economy, not less defying predictions of the end of geography.”
—Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School