Global Logistics, Global Labor

Edna Bonacich and Gary G. Hamilton

in The Market Makers

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590179
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724893 | DOI:
Global Logistics, Global Labor

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In this chapter, Edna Bonacich and Gary Hamilton explain the crucial role played by logistic providers in creating the supply chains of global retailers. Goods produced in Asia and elsewhere via global sourcing must be moved to the United States in a timely manner. To meet this need a complex logistics system has developed, which includes everything from infrastructure to logistics management. Some retailers have large internal logistics management departments. Others rely on third-party companies that specialize in logistics. Global sourcing has been dependent on the simultaneous development of crucial supporting actors, including ocean shipping, railroads, trucking industry, air freight companies, and warehousing operations. A key factor has been the evolution of inter-modal transportation systems that can move containerized shipments quickly from Asia and elsewhere to points throughout the USA and Europe. In turn, these transportation providers are supported by an expensive infrastructure base, which includes ports, airports, highways, and rail lines, most requiring government involvement of some kind. Because of their tremendous volume, and concomitant power, large retailers have played a major role in shaping conditions for the logistics providers. As with the employees in factories abroad, the working conditions and wages of logistics workers are strongly affected by retailer practices, even though they are non-owning, distant actors.

Keywords: global logistics; shipping; containerization; sourcing; supplier markets; globalization of labor markets; China

Chapter.  9314 words. 

Subjects: International Business

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