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Keywords Supply chain management Distribution systems Distribution operations Distribution management Freight forwarding Transport management Abstract A large number of firms have reconfigured their supply chains The general trends entail among others the reduction centralization and re-location of plants and distribution centers the design of new distribution systems and the reduction of the supplier base The analysis of the implications of such reconfiguration for freight transport has received comparatively little attention and most of the analysis has focused on the development of different theoretical models showing how changes in logistic structures and decisions could affect the transport demand Using empirical data from Denmark this paper sheds some light on the implications of reconfiguration supply chains on transport Industry mail surveys among Danish firms as well as an in-depth case study were performed The consequences of the reconfiguration process on the present and future demand for transport are measured and analyzed in terms of the quantity of transport units used truckscontainers and the transport-work tonkm Introduction A large number of international companies have reconfigured their supply chains during the last decade The most prominent drivers behind this trend have been global competition increased focus on market requirements advances in information and communication technology ICT and development in international freight transport systems Global competition has forced the companies to relocate their plants and distribution centers in order to be both competitive and cost-efficient In some industries eg the automotive and electronic industries the focal company requires that their key suppliers locate components production sub-assembly plants or inventory close to the focal companys assembly plants In other cases firms are moving their manufacturing operations to low-cost countries in order to be more cost-efficient The German car industry has gradually moved to Poland Hungary the Czech Republic and South Africa Similarly most of the shoe and fashion industries have moved their labor-intensive activities to the Far East Market requirements also force firms to reconfigure their supply chains
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