Collaborative Logistics’ Role in the Emergence of the Physical Internet

MH & L
Clients in the News: Imagine moving cargo across continents as smoothly as computers process data. It may seem impossible today, but the physical Internet could be embedded into freight supply chains by 2050.
Today, the physical Internet is an amorphous construct, with its scope and limits undefined. If its full potential is ever realized, then it will have the power to transform the movement of goods and people. Indeed, it will not only optimize entire supply chain ecosystems but also reshape and reengineer them. Many already believe that freight exchange platforms, dedicated to maximizing payload efficiency and reducing empty miles, have a role to play in making this vision a reality.
Zach Zacharia, an associate professor of supply chain management at Lehigh University, is part of a team developing a handbook on the physical Internet. He says, “I believe that collaborative logistics platforms demonstrate and validate the need for the physical Internet. In many ways, they are forerunners to it. That is not to say that freight exchanges will cease to exist. On the contrary, as technology advances, the most innovative freight exchange platforms could help mold the interconnected and collaborative freight landscapes of tomorrow. If they succeed, this will ultimately lead to more efficient, effective and sustainable freight supply chains.”
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