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Logistics Centre Concept through Evolution and Definition

Author(s): Kristina Rimienė | Dainora Grundey

Journal: Engineering Economics
ISSN 1392-2785

Volume: 4;
Start page: 87;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: logistics centre concept | definition | evolution | freight village | logistics node | distribution centre

Along with worldwide production and trade globalization,the importance of logistics centres is growing inthe supply chain management efficiency aspect.The paper reviews existing terminology of facilitiesfor logistics operations. Most commonly logistics centreconcept is consolidated with understanding of distributioncentre, central warehouse, freight/transport terminal,transport node, logistics platform, freight village,logistics depot, distripark etc.An attempt to rectify the hierarchy of logistics facilitiesand formulate the definition of logistics centre wasmade in the article. The structure of logistics facilitieshierarchy was proposed by the authors. Efforts were putto compare the concepts and understandings worked outby different world and Lithuanian authors and point outthe development and evolution of logistics centres.Logistics centre concept appeared 30 years ago.During this period either practical or nonfiction understandingof Logistics centre functional and conceptualsignificance has changed. Logistics centres can be classifiedinto three different categories or generations on evolutionbasis. It is based on the scope and extension oflogistics activities. Historically, typical logistics functionswere shipping, receiving, storage, order picking,break-bulk, freight consolidation and containerization.Today, thanks to technology, many distribution operationsare computerized, automated, and equipped withstate-of-the-art material handling equipment and informationsystems. Nowadays many distribution operationshave added a number of value-added services, includingtotal logistics management, inventory control and tracking,packaging, labeling and bar coding, procurementand vendor management, and customer service functions,such as returns, repair, rework and assortment promotionalassembly.Due to the process of evolution as well as types andfunctionality of centres recently developed in the marketthere is no embracing concept and definition for logisticscentre term determination. Lots of scientists (Pegrum,1963; Bowersox, Smykay, LaLonde, 1968; Reynaud,Gouvernal, 1987; Cavinato, 1989; Holtgen, 1996; Johnson,Wood, 1996; Wiegmans, Masurel, Nijkamp, 1998;Breitzmann, Wenske, 1999; Ballis, Golias, 2002; Židonis,2002; Waters, 2003; Kondratowicz, 2003; Kia, Shayan,Ghotb, 2003; Ballou, 2004; Urbonas, 2004; Meidutė,Vasiliauskas, 2005; Rushton, Croucher, Baker, 2006; Lu,Yang, 2006; etc) examined the theory of logistics and supply chain management, coping with logistics centredetermination and functionality analysis, among all. Surveyfindings showed that not only terms, but the conceptsdiffer as well. Logistics researchers have made little effortto build a unified logistics centre conception.The definition of logistics centre was proposed by thepaper author coming to the conclusion that evaluatingpresence and scope of the factors in Logistics centredefinition, Logistics centre can be considered as Freightvillage, Transport node or Distribution centre as well.
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