Author : Fabrice Hatem (communication to the Internationl conference on trade and logistics, Le Havre, 28-29th sept.2005)
International investment in logistics : situation and trends in Europe 2002-2004
The international development of companies is not just a matter of setting up production facilities abroad. It also involves the settlement of services support functions. : R&D, distribution, headquarters, call centres and of course logistical facilities. The analysis of the AFII data base (see box 1) shows that those activities have accounted for 57,5 % of the number of « internationally mobile projects » and 25 % of the jobs created through those projects between 2002 and 2004.
As for projects in logistics, they account for around 6 % of « internationally mobile investments » in Europe (both for the number of projects and the creation of jobs). They are mainly carried out by European companies, with three major categories of investors: manufacturing companies managing internally the « supply chain »; retailing companies which set up logistical networks in order to supply their stores; and external services providers in logistics, which try to get closer to their customers and to adapt the configuration of their networks to the spatial evolution of their markets. Whereas North-western European countries and France still attract the major part of projects, a rise of international investment has been observed during the recent years towards Eastern Europe, where logistics follow the relocation of manufacturing facilities.
The location of logistical facilities involves a complex optimisation process taking into account the configuration of the network of production facilities, the spatial location of the customers and markets, and the relative attractiveness of competing potential location sites (accessibility through transport infrastructure, availability of qualified manpower, land and dedicated building…). The weight of those various categories of criteria will change depending on the nature of the project: production-support logistics, distribution-support logistics, logistical « hubs » playing a key pivotal role in the supply chain…
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To consult an updated version of this text in french (June 2006) : /2006/06/09/les-investissements-etrangers-en-europe-en-logistique-2002-2005-juin-2006/