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|Type of publication:||Techreport|
|Institution:||MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program, Zaragoza Logistics Center|
|Abstract:||Technological advances such as global positioning, telematics, RFID, wireless communication,
etc. allow to improve near real-time visibility over assets in transit. Despite the
technological advances it appears that many global supply chains still suffer from the lack
of visibility. While the costs for deploying systems providing visibility can be determined relatively
easy, there is only little knowledge about the business value that can be generated
with near real-time information on assets in transit. Obviously, the availability of data is not a
value by itself and real-time data on assets in transit must be converted into information that
can be used to generate business value.
This joint research by Deutsche Post World Net, DHL Exel Supply Chain, MIT Center for
Transport & Logistics, and the Zaragoza Logistics Center, seeks to assess the value that
can be generated with In-Transit Visibility. It begins with describing the concept of In-Transit
Visibility and briefly surveys related work, existing visibility systems, and best practices.
Achieving In-Transit Visibility in many international supply chains faces various challenges:
a) assets in transit may be consolidated and deconsolidated in the supply chain b) various
stakeholders in the transportation chain have different interests, business rules, process
definitions, and data requirements c) capabilities to react on disruptions in the supply chain
differ between the various actors involved and actors in the transportation chain usually do
not have exact knowledge about the capabilities of other actors. These challenges make
it difficult to identify disruptions and to appreciate their impact on the final customer. This
research shows how In-Transit Visibility can be achieved and illustrates the fundamental
differences between Tracking & Tracing and In-Transit Visibility.
A framework for assessing the value of In-Transit Visibility is developed in this research. This
framework links visibility capabilities to actions and values and shows which visibility-enabled
actions can generate which values with respect to the specific supply chain characteristics.
This mapping of supply chain characteristics, actions, values, and visibility information is
illustrated in case studies. Simulation tools are developed in order to quantify the value
that can be generated with In-Transit Visibility. These simulation tools are described and
the results of our computational experiments are presented in this report. Our experiments
clearly show that In-Transit Visibility can significantly improve on-time delivery performance,
reduce transportation costs, and improve supply chain performance.