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Framing the Nexus of Globalisation, Logistics and Manufacturing in Europe

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Under the ongoing influence of globalisation, supply chains have changed significantly. New logistics and manufacturing systems have emerged, causing longer transport distances and increasing transport emissions. The existing research into the sustainability impacts of freight transport has largely viewed it as being a macro-level economic and political phenomenon and has ignored the interdependencies amongst micro-level economic actors, including firms and businesses in the private sector. In this paper, we presume that the lack of conceptualisation of freight transport in relation to wider institutional contexts and firm behaviour results in the lack of a holistic approach to understanding freight governance in the face of globalisation. We argue for the use of institutional economic geography lenses to elucidate the distribution networks of emerging logistics and manufacturing practices and its implications for freight transport. We illustrate our argument through a broad look at the European logistics and manufacturing practices and global production.
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Keywords: European Union freight policy; freight transport governance; intermodal transport; logistics; manufacturing; offshoring; transport consolidation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 2: Transver, Munich, Germany

Publication date: November 2, 2014

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