Location Matters

Markus Hesse

The merger of modern communications technologies and physical distribution systems is transforming many aspects of the shipping industries, including their locations and the way they use space. But these changes are not evidence of the promised dissolution of distance that was expected with the advent of global telecommunications. Instead, electronically sophisticated freight handlers are finding that locational considerations are as compelling as ever. In recent years freight services have been expanding via all modes—trucks, airplanes, railroads, oceangoing ships, inland waterway vessels, and pipelines. As Amelia Regan recently reported in these pages (ACCESS No. 20, Spring 2001), this expansion has been accompanied by the incorporation of new technologies aimed at integrating producers, wholesalers, freight forwarders, retailers, and consumers.

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