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The Physical Internet

Eric Ballot , Benoit Montreuil , Russell Meller

La Documentation française
Format: ePub sans DRM

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The performance of logistics networks has made a considerable leap in recent decades. With a development capacity and degree of competition that leave little influence to public corrective actions, it is engendering increasing environmental and societal damage.
To avoid the impasse between sustained demand and unsustainable impacts, this work, which is underpinned by a novel stream of research (both in Europe and North America), puts forward a new concept for the global organization of logistics networks : the Physical Internet. Like the Digital Internet that conveys data, the concept is to connect and synchronize all logistics networks to create a collaborative and robust physical network of networks, capable of continually optimizing the shipment of "encapsulated" goods of many types and sizes :
• in compliance with customer requirements : lead time, security and insurance, controlled temperature…
• by optimizing both the operator’s and the customer's economic models ;
• by minimizing the environmental footprint ;
• by means of routing protocols, interoperability and traceability standards, remuneration rules, compensation mechanisms and new trade configurations.

The book explores the Physical Internet in great detail, showing up its promise and its limitations. The book outlines the essential components, puts forward a framework for specification and analysis, and highlights the dimensions yet to be investigated. Above all, based on illustrative simulations, it confirms the major benefit of the Physical Internet, increasing the cost efficiency of logistics while decreasing its environmental impact - a rare combination.

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