April 01, 2010      

Specialists in logistics and supply chain management face multiple sets of contradictory requirements: Reduce the space they use, but increase the volume of goods they distribute; decrease latency while lowering transport and handling costs; and, most conspicuously, cut labor costs but maintain or increase service levels.

Unlike corporate functions such as manufacturing, distribution cannot be entirely outsourced to countries that have low labor and real estate costs. Some hubs and packaging ce...

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