Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Logistics of Perishable Products

When it comes to perishable products, some of which may be of high value, the selection of the appropriate transportation mode is critical.

The New York Times has an article on air cargo and the American Airlines terminal at JFK in New York, which is the size of two football fields and the temporary warehouse for import and exports. It serves as a major regional transport hub and generates much income for the Port Authority (more than even tolls do).

The article describes how the warehouse workers have a first-hand view of what is timely and what is being transported via air -- whether it be fabrics from Milan for fashion, porcini mushrooms, lobsters, or even generic drugs from abroad. When the patents on drugs expire (something that we have researched in our pharmaceutical supply chain oligopoly paper just published in Transportation Research E), these warehouse workers see increased shipments of generic drugs.

I am now in Gothenburg, Sweden, giving several presentations from financial networks to supply chains and even perishable product supply chains as a Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg.

The New York Time article demonstrates, as we have been showing in our research, of how important it is to be able to model perishable product and time-sensitive product supply chains from fast fashion to food to pharmaceuticals, and to include appropriate transportation modes and alternatives.

Logistics makes the world hum.