Supply Chain Management
Unloved but Indispensable Logistics: How to Improve Its Image?

Article Details
Pub. Date : March 21
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSCM40321
Author Name : Gilles Pache and Rudolf O Large
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Strategic
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 10



Goods must be physically available in terms of location and time to be consumed or used in manufacturing and retailing. Ensuring the physical availability of goods is the task and responsibility of logistics. Logistics activities are therefore indispensable for the society, the economy and each individual; everyone should be aware of this fact. Accordingly, people should appreciate the role and the value of logistics. However, if you ask people about their attitudes towards logistics, they usually report negative experiences such as late deliveries, as well as congested motorways, excessive land use, nighttime delivery activities and poor working conditions for bicycle couriers. Many people associate negative or at least unattractive images with logistics (Knemeyer and Murphy, 2004), since they predominantly perceive the dark side of logistics. Consequently, there are image-related shortcomings and problems. Negative attitudes towards logistics held by a large number of people influence public opinion and exert pressure on the political decision-makers. Furthermore, negative perceptions of logistics also influence the private decisions of individuals, for example, the choice of career (Maloni et al., 2016). A well-known consequence of this effect is the shortage of truck drivers in many economies (Large et al., 2014).


This research note shows that if there is a dark side to logistics, it is also at the service of society and hence there is also a bright side to logistics. As the Covid-19 crisis indicated, we will need an increasing number of efficient logisticians and supply chain managers in the retailing sector, home delivery sector and health sector (Pache, 2021). To durably attract the best talents, especially from the new generation of graduate and postgraduate students, it is essential to improve the image of logistics by playing on several strategic levers. Four levers are presented here in the context of the new digital economy: the benefit segmentation, the implementation of a perfect tracking system, the simplification of the return policy, and the 'staging' of logistics.

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