Slow Logistics – Concept and Practical Examples


December 2010 (ENG)
Uitgave: pdf

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This report has come out of the VIL collective research project ‘S.L.O.W. Logistics’, which questioning the current practice of “delivery as fast as possible”. The need for fast deliveries should be looked at for each individual case and speed should be client Reliability is often much more important than speed. In this research project, the VIL want to concretely identify and work out the respective trade-offs and test this in practice, using the Total Logistics Costs Approach.

This report is the response to the first of two project phases: the research phase. The concept ‘Slow Logistics’ will be explored and explained in greater detail, trade-offs between speed and reliability are discussed and possible implementations of the concept will be explained, as well as several pitfalls and preconditions. Using practical examples, it will be explained how a number of companies have concretely implemented Slow logistics and what the results are. The report ends with the elements and the structure of the Total Logistics Costs Model.

Table of contents

Colophon  4

Preface  7

Reason and background  8

Slow Logistics: what’s in a name?  9
Problem definition  9
Speed as (wrong) dogma  9
From cost to opportunity  11
Importance of distinction between categories of goods  13
Importance of total logistics cost  14
Preconditions and impediments regarding Slow Logistics  15
Overview of possible solutions in the form of Slow Logistics concepts  16

Practical examples  17
Nike: speed in function of client profiles  17
Colruyt: sustainability as the motive for supply chain optimization  20
Inbound optimization through product differentiation  20
Outbound optimization through prioritizing orders  22
Atlas Copco: reliability more important than speed  25
Modal shift at short distance: greater reliability inland shipping  25
Shift from air freight to seaborne freight  27
Rolls Royce: slowing down as a means to increase the transport volume  28
Jumbo supermarkets: supply chain synchronization for shippers and stores  30
Slow Steaming: impact on carbon footprint  33

Total logistics costs model  34
What and why total logistics costs?  34
TLC Model based on six + one parameters  35
Working from TLC always means trade logistics cost parameters  38
Reliability as “quality attribute” within the TLC model  39


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