May 2, 2003, 12:00 AM

Global concerns raise demand for web-based logistics

Efforts to deal with terrorism and SARS are increasing the focus on web-based logistics systems that can help overcome unexpected disruptions in the delivery of imports.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Efforts to curb both terrorism and SARS are creating new pain points for retailers to overcome, such as tough new government rules on importing and restrictions on travel. This is increasing a focus on web-based supply chain and global logistics systems that can help overcome unexpected disruptions in the delivery of imports, says Mark Vigoroso, senior research analyst for supply chain management at Aberdeen Group.

SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which has caused more than 100 deaths and afflicted thousands through a coronavirus, has joined global terrorism as cause of potential supply chain disruptions. With travel restrictions and disrupted work forces in SARS-afflicted areas such as China, a major source of retail goods, and tightened post-9-11 U.S. Customs rules on classifying the source of all imported product ingredients, web-based systems are becoming more important as tools that provide real-time visibility into global supply chains, Vigoroso says.

"These challenges will drive significant demand for international logistics systems that combine the ubiquity of the web with global shipping intelligence and analytics tools," he says.

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