August 21, 2012

New book explains value of "logistics clusters" to companies, economies

MIT's Yossi Sheffi argues that locating logistics-related operations together benefits not just the companies themselves but also the economy at large.

By DC Velocity Staff

No man is an island, wrote the poet John Donne—and according to a new book by Yossi Sheffi, the same could be said of logistics operations. Sheffi, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics, believes companies gain a competitive advantage by locating their transportation and distribution operations within "logistics clusters"—geographically concentrated sets of logistics-related business activities—instead of in an isolated area.

In Logistics Clusters: Delivering Value and Driving Growth, Sheffi argues that logistics clusters offer a partial solution to current economic problems because they provide jobs and spark economic growth. He also contends that the clusters promote social justice by contributing to upward mobility and promoting environmental responsibility.

Using the examples of Memphis, Singapore, Chicago, Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and other locations, Sheffi outlines how logistics clusters develop and how they promote other industrial activities; the benefits of locating distribution and value-added activities in such areas; and how governments can support logistics clusters through investment, regulation, and trade policy.

The book will be published by MIT Press in October 2012. It can be pre-ordered for $29.95 at

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