Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1207–1219 | Cite as

Analogies between Internet network and logistics service networks: challenges involved in the interconnection

  • Rochdi SarrajEmail author
  • Eric Ballot
  • Shenle Pan
  • Benoit Montreuil


Logistics networks that are currently formed by supply chains are intertwined but remain heterogeneous and not very interconnected. In computer networks, this stage was overtaken with the arrival of Internet. In this paper we explore the possible analogies and transpositions between computer networks, in particular Internet, and logistic networks. To this end, a new logistical concept was proposed: Physical Internet that aims at the interconnection of networks of logistic services. In fact, there are strong similarities between these networks in spite of the basic differences in the type of objects that prevent an integral transposition. To illustrate the pertinence of this analogy, the authors illustrate the interconnection potential of logistics networks with a stylised model. In view of the exploratory nature of this work, this impact will be assessed by means of an analytic model based on a method of continuous approximations. This illustration provides an indication of the potential inherent in the interconnection of logistics networks.


Supply chain Network Physical Internet Analogy Interconnection Continuous approximations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rochdi Sarraj
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eric Ballot
    • 1
  • Shenle Pan
    • 1
  • Benoit Montreuil
    • 2
  1. 1.CGS-Centre de Gestion ScientifiqueMines Paris TechParis Cedex 06France
  2. 2.Faculty of Administration Sciences, CIRRELT-Interuniversity Research Center on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and TransportationUniversité LavalQuebecCanada

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