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Evolving Strategies for Asia – USA Containerized Supply Chains: Implications and Policy Recommendations

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The nature and sophistication of Asia – USA containerized import supply chains has evolved dramatically over the past decade and continues to do so. Large nation-wide importers accounted for about 30% of total Asia–USA imports in 2003, 40% in 2007, and probably 50% now. Utilizing push-pull supply chains, they realize substantial inventory economies not available to small or regional importers. Rising costs of imported goods and rising market shares of large nationwide retailers combine to shift more imports into push-pull supply chains. This has profound impacts on volumes through alternative ports of entry and alternative landside supply channels. While inland transportation requirements are economized and inland environmental impacts can be reduced by this evolution of supply chains, port cities are stressed by considerable congestion and environmental impacts. Recommendations are provided for changes in land-use policies relative to infrastructure accommodating import supply chains.

This paper was part of the Proceedings of the 2011 Industry Studies Association Annual Conference, Industry Studies Association, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, June 1-3, 2011.