On interactions between Packaging and Logistics - Exploring implications of technological developments
Abstract: Packaging is a fundamental element in logistics systems. Packaging not only affects every logistical activity; it is also recognised as having a significant impact on logistics costs and performance. In order for logisticians and packaging professionals to gain insight into packaging-dependent costs and performance, the interactions between packaging systems and logistics systems must be understood. This is instead of dividing packaging and logistics into separate systems which are analysed on their own, and assuming that the ?whole? is the sum of the systems. Therefore, the overall purpose of this thesis is to explore interactions between packaging and logistics. The research is applied and interdisciplinary, and bases itself on inductive reasoning. Methodologically, this thesis is qualitative, primarily using case study as research strategy. A case study involving four retail supply chains is conducted in this research to obtain insights into interactions between packaging and logistics. A single case study is also conducted to explore the packaging, logistics, marketing, and environmental consequences of introducing an innovative unit load carrier. Moreover, two case studies are conducted to study the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in managing and controlling returnable transport packaging. This research provides a comprehensive overview of the physical interactions between packaging systems and logistics systems in retail supply chains. The research serves as an elementary step towards understanding the role of packaging in logistics, and as an aid in showing how packaging-related decisions might impact on supply chains. This research implies that understanding the interactions between packaging and logistics makes it possible to make decisions, such as changing the packaging system or logistics system, or both, based on a holistic packaging approach. Moreover, this research provide insights into the cost and process of implementing RFID technology, and highlights significant savings and benefits, as well as the potential benefits and risks of implementing RFID in packaging systems. As a result, the research provides the means to bridge the gap between packaging and logistics professionals and presents a model of the impact of decisions on packaging and logistics systems. Moreover, a model of the RFID implementation process is proposed, where implications for management are identified to guide managers in the process of implementing RFID.
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