SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA 2009, 29(4) 477-484 DOI:     ISSN: 1000-0690 CN: 22-1124/P

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logistic organization
firm level
South Logistics Enterprises Group
ZONG Hui-ming
ZHOU Su-hong
YAN Xiao-pei
Article by ZONG Hui-ming
Article by ZHOU Su-hong
Article by YAN Xiao-pei

Organization of Logistic Network on Firm Level —A Case Study of the South Logistics Enterprises Group

ZONG Hui-ming1, ZHOU Su-hong2, YAN Xiao-pei2

1. School of Geographical Science, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715;
2. Center for Urban and Regional Studies, SUN Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275


The organization of logistics network was a neglected field in terms of both modern economic geography and transport geography. Freight transportation has been dominantly the focus of geographers dealing with maritime, port and rail transport issues. The scholars in China also paid attention to these fields. But in fact the enduring growth in the movements of goods and innovations in the associated networks of logistics and freight distribution represent a dynamic part of economic globalization. The aim of the project is to find the attributes of the logistics network on the firm level in urban China. This study intends to develop a microscopic understanding of the organization of logistics industry in urban China, the new economic giant of the globalizing world. It designs a framework which consists of the strategic network, spatial network and operational network for understanding the firm’s logistic organizations, which are placing the issue of freight distribution as a central concern of human geography, much beyond the traditional focus of transport geography. The framework borrows the theories from the economy science, social science, transportation geography, economic geography and management science. Then it takes the South Logistics Enterprises Group as a study case. The research was carried out through interviewing with managers of the case firm for three times. It is observed that the strategic networks of logistics firms in China cover two types: one is the alliance between logistics firms and their customers, and the other is the alliance between logistics firms with other small or middle-sized traditional logistics firms. The alliances are founded on the base of total trust, which is formulated in the cooperation of long period. The logistics firm takes the key relationship management as the most important task. A spatial network with a hierarchy structure is identified: headquarter—branch firms—offices. The underlying mechanism can be termed as three types: customers-oriented, strategic-oriented or cost-oriented. For instance, the network often adds a new branch for the key customers under the customers-oriented strategy. Among of these three factors, customer-oriented is the most important one most of the base and branches are set according to the requirement of their customers. Moreover, the operational network depends on the outsourcing system, including procedures of transportation, material management, information transfer and so on. An information shared platform and a creative operational network contribute to the efficiency of the customers’ supply chain. Besides the creative of network, the high technology is also helpful to the efficiency, such as communication technology, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), modern Logistics Information System, GPS, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). As technological change and globalization are moving forward, flows, circuits and the associated paces will receive further attention, since they are essential for the global network economy.

Keywords logistic organization   network   firm level   South Logistics Enterprises Group  
Received 2008-10-14 Revised 2009-02-13 Online:  
Corresponding Authors:
Email: 周素红,博士、副教授,E-mail:
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