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A comparison of FMCG logistics operations in the UK and South Africa

Sanchez Rodrigues, Vasco ORCID: and Potter, Andrew Thomas ORCID: 2013. A comparison of FMCG logistics operations in the UK and South Africa. European Business Review 25 (4) , pp. 351-364. 10.1108/EBR-02-2013-0014

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Purpose – International comparison studies provide a useful opportunity in logistics to benchmark logistics practices. Given this, it is perhaps surprising that there do not appear to be any benchmarking studies comparing performance between the developed and developing world. The paper aims to address this shortcoming, focusing on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) distribution networks from the UK and South Africa as comparator countries. Design/methodology/approach – A two-stage study has been undertaken. Firstly, a focus group approach was undertaken to identify the main causes of supply chain uncertainty affecting freight transport operations in FMCG distribution. In the second phase, four case studies (two in the UK and two in South Africa) were undertaken to examine how logistics is managed and the impact of uncertainty. Findings – In the focus groups undertaken in both countries, the uncertainty clusters found were very similar, if not the same. However, when looking into the findings from the case studies, the extra miles generated due to uncertainty within the supply chains studied was greater in the South African distribution networks studied than in their UK counterparts. Furthermore, the UK distribution networks studied seem to be more effective in terms of uncertainty preparedness and responsiveness than their South African counterparts. Originality/value – The paper has identified significant differences in terms of uncertainty preparedness and responsiveness within the distribution networks studied from the UK and South Africa. Nevertheless, more case studies need to be run in both countries, and in different sectors, to verify those differences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distribution, Distribution management, Grocery, Supply chain management, Supply chains, Third party logistics, Uncertainty
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0955-534X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 17:20

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