New book on global logistics and supply chain management in the 2020s

In the past decade, global logistics and supply chain management have evolved from a formerly unpopular and neglected area to a field wieldy seen as a key enabler of business success - the recent pandemic has shown this fact to an even wider public than ever before. Prof. Kai Hoberg (KLU) and Prof. Rico Merkert (University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, Australia) took the chance to reflect on how global logistics and supply chain strategies will evolve in this decade – and which skills will be required for the next generation. Their new book “Global Logistics and Supply Chain Strategies for the 2020s: Vital Skills for the Next Generation” brings together 33 leading academics and 25 senior managers.

The past decade has highlighted how superior supply chain practices provide a competitive advantage. The recent pandemic was an inflection point that brought attention to supply chains to the wider public which then got compounded by geopolitical tensions, global supply shortages and climate change. Companies across the globe were required to reevaluate their strategies: to redesign their global supply networks, to boost resilience, to leverage new digital technologies and to design socially responsible supply chains for social and environmental sustainability.  The world of supply chain management has suddenly become super exciting, but also more challenging.  

Professor Kai Hoberg (Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany) and Professor Rico Merkert (University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, Australia) who spent both their academic and professional lives in the field this was the perfect moment to reflect how global logistics and supply chain strategies will evolve in this decade and perhaps more importantly which skills will therefore be required for the next generation of managers. In their new book, they brought together leading academics and senior managers to outline the perspectives on the key topic areas. Professor Hoberg highlights: “It is wonderful to bring such a diverse and truly global group of experts together: from Cornell University to ETH Zurich, from DHL to Jungheinrich, from Universidad de los Andes to National University of Tawian, from AP Moller—Maersk to Infineon Technologies.“

Combining academic and practitioner perspectives

This book aims to dive into the core functions of global logistics and supply chain management  to highlight the key developments and career opportunities in the next decade predicted by leading global experts in the field. Rico Merkert emphasizes: “We are particularly happy about the innovative format that provides both an academic and a practitioner perspective in each supply chain function - an idea that even challenged the publishing team at Springer.” The 21 topic areas include for example artificial intelligence, global network design sustainable logistics, smart procurement skills, the circular economy or the future of 3PLs and air cargo logistics. Supply chains will be managed by a new generation of leaders that will need to be equipped with different skills and an innovative mindset that not only embraces but also works hand in hand with technology and algorithms.

For practitioners and managers, this book aims to offer key insights in terms of what may be the next big thing in this fast-changing industry. For students, this book provides tips on what to study and what skills are likely to be needed to start a successful career in logistics and supply chain management. Future scenarios are envisaged to provide both practitioners and students with insights that will help them to adapt and succeed in a fast-changing world.

About the book

The book “Global Logistics and Supply Chain Strategies for the 2020s: Vital Skills for the Next Generation” is available from Springer starting January 8, 2023

About Kai Hoberg
Kai Hoberg is Professor in Supply Chain and Operations Strategy and Head of the Operations and Technology Department at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg. He was a visiting researcher at leading universities such as Cornell University, NUS Business School, Saïd Business School, and the University of Sydney. Before returning to academia, he worked as a strategy consultant and project manager in the operations team of Booz & Company (Strategy &). His current research focuses on supply chain analytics, the role of technology in supply chain management, and supply chain strategy. In his research, he is working with partners like McKinsey & Company, Bayer, Procter & Gamble, or the World Bank.

About Rico Merkert
Rico Merkert is Professor in Transport and Supply Chain Management and Deputy Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney Business School. He has taught and researched at several high-profile institutions such as Cranfield University or Haas Business School (UC Berkeley) and is Associate Editor of Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Advisory Editor and past EiC of the Journal of Air Transport Management. Rico has been a strategic advisor to boards and C-level management providing deep insights and research related to performance measurement, strategic management, innovation, and supply chain analysis, economic impact and demand analysis for a range of major logistics, freight forwarding, airline and airport companies, both in the global and regional context.