Logistics Response to the Industry 4.0: the Physical Internet

Abstract

Today’s mankind and all human activities are constantly changing and evolving in response to changes in technology, social and economic environments and climate. Those changes drive a “new” way of manufacturing industry. That novelty could be described as the organization of production processes based on technology and devices autonomously communicating with each other along the value chain. Decision-makers have to address this novelty (usually named as Industry 4.0) and try to develop appropriate information systems, physical facilities, and different kind of technologies capable of meeting the future needs of economy. As a consequence, there is a need for new paradigms of the way freight is move, store, realize, and supply through the world (logistics system). One of the proposed solutions is the Physical Internet, concept of open global logistics system which completely redefines current supply chain configuration, business models, and value-creation patterns.However, further detailed research on this topic is much needed. This paper aims to provide a balanced review of the variety of views considered among professionals in the field of Physical Internet with the final aim to identify the biggest challenges (technological, societal, business paradigm) of proposed new logistics paradigm as a practical solution in supporting Industry 4.0.

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