The acceleration of economic globalization and integration has led to more logistics activities worldwide and changes in the spatial location of logistics facilities. The location of logistics facilities affects not only cost and efficiency of cargo transportation activities but also sustainability of logistics.
Recently, the two major perspectives of logistics space research have received attention from academia and policymakers:
- cluster: the concentration of logistics facilities and functions in geography
- sprawl: movement of facilities from the urban core to peripheral places.
Logistics space is a kind of industrial space, which refers to the projection of urban logistics activities (professional markets, logistics companies, logistics nodes, logistics infrastructure) in the geographical space. In order to speed up urbanization, the government blindly planned a large number of logistics facilities. On the one hand, this has intensified the increasingly prominent contradiction of urban land use, and on the other hand, caused the waste of logistics resources.
The evolution of logistics space is influenced by land prices, accessibility, market demand, agglomeration advantages and government policies. The purpose of a study by Jiangsu University (Zhenjiang, China) is to present a literature review of logistics space, including data sources, research methods as well as research theories, and to study the impact of logistics space from the perspective of sustainable development.
The constant increase in logistics demand has put forward higher requirements for the development of modern logistics. The quantity and types of logistics facilities and enterprises have increased, and the quality of logistics services has been increasing, which has led to changes in the spatial distribution of logistics activities.
With the urbanization of cities and population, the logistics sprawl gradually appears in the urban development of various countries. Logistics sprawl, the spatial deconcentration of logistics facilities and distribution centers, is the trend of outward movement of logistics facilities from inner urban areas to suburban and exurban areas.
The evolution of logistics space is becoming more important for the sustainable development of logistics in terms of environmental efficiency, social efficiency, and economic efficiency. Grasping the spatial distribution of logistics activities, clarifying the location characteristics and forming a mechanism of logistics space has become a real problem facing logistics development.
The research provides some reference for logistics space researchers and planners that play a role in formulating new logistics development strategies and promoting the sustainable development of logistics space.
To ensure a fair distribution of logistics space and determine the optimal location, scale, and type of logistics facility activities, a sustainable development blueprint must be planned. First of all, the government should formulate a strategy for the sustainable use of logistics land, make full and reasonable use of land resources, increase land utilization, and curb the idleness and waste of land.
The priority is to integrate existing logistics facilities, achieve intensive use of land, create new logistics spaces and minimize land use conflicts. Governments and enterprises should increase the construction of automated warehouses and develop underground logistics systems.
Secondly, to improve the mobility of logistics activities is an important way, including increasing the construction of traffic network and port intermodal transport, and improving the transit transport system. Good traffic accessibility facilitates the organization of transportation routes for logistics activities, reduces transportation distances, and improves the logistics efficiency of enterprises.
Finally, the government should promote the joint development of the logistics industry and the manufacturing industry. The spatial planning of the manufacturing industry can effectively guide the transfer of the logistics industry and achieve a balance between supply and demand in the logistics space. The joint development of the manufacturing industry and the logistics industry is not only an important means of adjusting the industrial structure and transforming economic growth but also a common requirement and an urgent need for the manufacturing and logistics industries. Just-in-time production eliminates inventory, optimizes production logistics, and reduces dependence on storage space.
Logistics Space: A Literature Review from the Sustainability Perspective – Meiling He, Jiaren Shen, Xiaohui Wu and Jianqiang Luo