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01-05-2011 | Original Paper | Issue 2-3/2011

Logistics Research 2-3/2011

Toward a Physical Internet: meeting the global logistics sustainability grand challenge

Journal:
Logistics Research > Issue 2-3/2011
Author:
Benoit Montreuil
Important notes
In an effort to stimulate open innovation toward the Physical Internet, a Physical Internet Manifesto has been created and is regularly updated by the author. It is made publicly available at the http://​www.​physicalinternet​initative.​org website. In a slideshow mode, it presents and illustrates the Physical Internet vision detailed in this paper.

Abstract

This paper starts with the assertion that the way physical objects are currently transported, handled, stored, realized, supplied, and used throughout the world is unsustainable economically, environmentally, and socially. Evidence supporting this assertion is exposed through a set of key unsustainability symptoms. Then, the paper expresses the goal to revert this situation, thus meeting the global logistics sustainability grand challenge. It suggests exploiting the Digital Internet metaphor to develop a Physical Internet vision toward meeting this grand challenge. The paradigm breaking vision is introduced through a set of its key characteristics. The paper then proceeds with addressing the implications and requirements for implementing the Physical Internet vision as a means to meet the grand challenge. It concludes with a call for further research, innovation, and development to really shape and assess the vision and, much more important, to give it flesh through real initiatives and projects so as to really influence in a positive way the collective future. For this to happen, it emphasizes the requirement for multidisciplinary collaboration among and between academia, industry, and government across localities, countries, and continents.

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