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Research for the Real World Understanding "crowd logistics" Comment New research examines how crowd logistics differs from traditional logistics service models and which type of crowd logistics might be the most disruptive.
But sometimes it may be hard for practitioners to see how the research presented in its pages applies to what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Published in the December issue of the Journal of Business Logistics.
While much has been written on this development by the media, consultants, and industry analysts, this article by three professors from business schools and universities in France is the first academic paper that takes a close look at the emerging business model.
As such, the article provides the first conceptual definition of what the authors call "crowd logistics": Based on a review of the websites of 57 crowd logistics initiatives, the paper goes on to identify four types of crowd logistics: It hypothesizes that crowd local delivery has the biggest potential to be disruptive to traditional business models.
Lacefield what they discovered about crowd logistics and how these findings could be applied. What was the impetus for your research? I began this research program with my two co-authors, Valentina Carbone and Christine Roussat, three years ago.
We have been investigating the logistics aspects inherent in the sharing economy. This economy is booming, but it seems to underestimate the importance of controlling the physical flows it generates.
In our first study, we identified four types of logistics characteristic of the collaborative economy: The second stage of our research, which is published in the Journal of Business Logistics, focuses on the logistics type that we considered to be most promising: Although many researchers have investigated crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, the logistics and supply chain management literature is almost devoid of work on crowd logistics.
So it was exciting for us to be the first to explore this field.
How does crowd logistics differ from traditional business logistics? Our definition of crowd logistics highlights three features. The first is the fact that crowd logistics relies on amateurs rather than logistics professionals.
The second is that it relies on resources that are spread among the crowd and are underused or even unused. This is extremely different from traditional logistics with its dedicated infrastructure warehouses, trucks, boats, etc.
The final key feature is that this type of logistics has been enabled by the development of digital technologies, such as mobile apps. Crowd logistics does not rely on traditional corporate information systems, such as enterprise resource planning ERP systems or electronic data interchange EDI.
What do practitioners need to know about the four main types of crowd logistics? We believe two things need to be noted by practitioners. The first is that crowd logistics firms can provide four major types of logistics services: The second is that each type of crowd logistics service creates a different type of logistics value.
For example, crowd storage relies on real estate resources, such as cellars and garages, to offer local storage services to city dwellers. Crowd freight forwarding relies on other resources related to individual mobility, such as air or sea travel, to make products that are unavailable in a given country accessible economically or to transport goods.
So, each crowd logistics service uses different crowd resources and offers the client a different value proposition. Why did you choose to exclude some of the companies, such as Cargomatic and Shyp, that are often identified as "Uber for freight" from your study?
Crowd logistics, as we define it, is based on a crowd of amateurs rather than professionals, even though the boundary is becoming increasingly blurred. The two firms that you mention do not call on individuals.
Cargomatic can be likened to a marketplace that uses new technologies to transform contacts with logistics service providers. Shyp uses professionals and offers logistics services to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions that have increased enormously with the sharing economy for example, the types of transactions that occur on eBay.
These two firms do indeed propose a form of logistics "uberization," in the sense that they use digital technologies to rethink logistics practices, but not in the precise field of crowd logistics as we have defined it.
But it is interesting that the boundaries between these activities are becoming blurred: Some crowd logistics firms use traditional marketplace models, and some traditional businesses are investing in these startups.The following nominations were presented with Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie® Award winners in the 11th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
Ten Grand Stevie Award winners were also announced. The awards were presented during a gala banquet at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, February New research examines how crowd logistics differs from traditional logistics service models and which type of crowd logistics might be the most disruptive.
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