Best Books on Logistics

Best Books on Logistics

Umbrex has developed this list of the best books on logistics based on input from the management consultants in our community, our clients, and other professionals.

This list of books is a work in progress, not a final answer, and we invite you to submit your recommendations on our Contact page.

We also invite you to check out our list of the best podcasts on logistics and travel.

A Practical Guide to Logistics: An Introduction to Transport, Warehousing, Trade and Distribution

Jerry Rudd
2019

Few people come into logistics management with knowledge and experience of all aspects of the profession. Some may have worked their way up from driving a vehicle but know little of warehouses, others may find themselves taking responsibility for logistics as part of a wider remit such as operations. A Practical Guide to Logistics aims to equip them with the necessary knowledge to move on to the next stage, with simple non-technical explanations of the options available, and impartial advice on how to choose the right option for their business. It is also an excellent primer for students studying logistics for the first time, on BSc or MSc courses, as well as practitioners on professional training courses.

A Practical Guide to Logistics is a straightforward guide taking readers through all aspects of this fascinating industry, covering packaging, transportation, warehousing and exporting and importing of goods. There is a real need for this basic knowledge, both for practitioners starting out in the industry or more experienced practitioners who may have gaps in their knowledge. The book examines each aspect of logistics in turn and the text is supported by numerous illustrations.

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Changing How the World Does Business: Fedex's Incredible Journey to Success - The Inside Story

Roger Frock
2006

From humble beginnings, FedEx has literally revolutionized the way business is conducted. Not too long ago, overnight shipping was barely an option for even the largest companies. Today, thanks to FedEx, it’s available to every living room start-up. With annual revenues of $30 billion, more than 250,000 employees, 600 aircraft, and 70,000 surface vehicles, FedEx handles nearly six million shipments a day in two hundred countries. FedEx has become a household name, and has been named one of the top ten of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine.

But it wasn’t always easy. From his inside vantage point as the company’s first general manager and chief operating officer, Roger Frock reveals the remarkable details of how Fred Smith and his team endured their tumultuous early years–fraught with a seemingly unending series of legal, financial, and operational crises that continually threatened the company’s ability to stay in business–and, in the end, created an entirely new industry.

Frock chronicles the dramatic last-minute saves and turnarounds the company engineered from its inception to the present. He entertains with stories of the trials and tribulations of the company’s early struggles and victories–from Pilots using personal credit cards to fuel planes, to the courier who hocked his watch to put gas in his delivery van, and, one of the most memorable episodes, the time that founder Fred Smith literally gambled the company’s last remaining funds to keep the planes flying.

Frock’s story introduces all the players–FedEx’s resourceful and resilient leaders and employees–and shows how these remarkable individuals gave Fred Smith’s original concept wings and, through flexibility, creativity, and commitment, made a fledgling startup into one of the great success stories in modern business. Changing How the World Does Business is an inspirational tale for leaders and entrepreneurs everywhere.

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Contemporary Logistics 12th Edition

Paul Murphy Jr. and A. Knemeyer
2017

A dynamic foundation to the global study of contemporary logistics.

A market-leading text, Contemporary Logistics explores modern logistics from a managerial perspective. These are characterized by geopolitical tensions in parts of the world, steadily increasing trade, supply chain vulnerabilities caused by severe natural disasters, and an unabated pace of technological advancement. In it, you see theory come to life through timely, practical, and exciting coverage of logistics fundamentals, and challenges and opportunities for logistics managers in today’s dynamic global landscape. The 12th Edition gives you the most up-¿to¿-date insights and perspectives sourced from reviewers, adopters, and other stakeholders.

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Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics Revolution

Edna Bonacich and Jake B. Wilson
2008

In Getting the Goods, Edna Bonacich and Jake B. Wilson focus on the Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach―which together receive 40 percent of the nearly $2 trillion worth of goods imported annually to the United States―to examine the impact of the logistics revolution on workers in transportation and distribution. Built around the invention of shipping containers and communications technology, the logistics revolution has enabled giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Target to sell cheap consumer products made using low-wage labor in developing countries. The goods are shipped through an efficient, low-cost, intermodal freight system, in which containers are moved from factories in Asia to distribution centers across the United States without ever being opened.

Bonacich and Wilson follow the flow of imports from Asian factories, exploring the roles of importers, container shipping companies, the ports, railroad and trucking companies, and warehouses. At each stage, Getting the Goods raises important questions about how the logistics revolution affects logistics workers. Drawing extensively on interviews with workers and managers at all levels of the supply chain, on industry reports, and on economic data, Bonacich and Wilson find that, in general, conditions have deteriorated for workers. But they also discover that changes in the system of production and distribution provide new strategic opportunities for labor to gain power. A much-needed corrective to both uncritical celebrations of containerization and the global economy and pessimistic predictions about the future of the U.S. labor movement, Getting the Goods will become required reading for scholars and students in sociology, political economy, and labor studies.

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Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management

John Mangan, Chandra Lalwani and Agustina Calatayud
2020

Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management is a comprehensive, fully up-to-date introduction to the subject. Addressing both practical and strategic perspectives, this revised and updated fourth edition offers readers a balanced and integrated presentation of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM)concepts, practices, technologies, and applications. Contributions from experts in specific areas of LSCM provide readers with real-world insights on supply chain relationships, transport security, inventory management, supply chain designs, the challenges inherent to globalization and international trade, and more.

The text examines how information, materials, products, and services flow across the public and private sectors and around the world. Detailed case studies highlight LSCM practices and strategies in a wide range of contexts, from humanitarian aid and pharmaceutical supply chains to semi-automated distribution centers and port and air cargo logistics. Examples of LSCM in global corporations such as Dell Computer and Jaguar Land Rover highlight the role of new and emerging technologies. This edition features new and expanded discussion of contemporary topics including sustainability, supply chain vulnerability, and reverse logistics, and places greater emphasis on operations management.

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International Logistics: the Management of International Trade Operations

Pierre A. David
2021

A full-color textbook covering all of the concepts of international logistics. This textbook is written from the perspective of shippers, those managers who are actively exporting or importing goods or are otherwise involved in international trade operations. All of the relevant issues are thoroughly explained, including documentation, terms of payment, terms of trade (2020 Incoterms© rules), exchange rate exposure hedges, international insurance, Customs clearance, agency and distributorship sales contracts, packaging, transportation, warehousing, terminal operations, transportation of dangerous goods, transportation of refrigerated goods, security issues, and cross-border trade. The book explains the methods by which a company can develop a strategic advantage by excelling at the management of its international-trade operations.

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Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War

William G. Pagonis and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank
1992

“Business Week” described the Gulf War as “the largest military logistics operation in history”, entailing an unprecedented deployment of troops and supplies halfway around the world. Here is a firsthand account of the supply effort that led to the dramatic Allied victory in the Gulf, written by the general who spearheaded the remarkable undertaking. General Pagonis recounts the Gulf War from the first fateful telephone call, to the mobilization of 550,000 troops and the shipment of 7,000,000 tons of supplies, to the enormously complex challenge of bringing home a half million soldiers and their equipment. Numerous leadership and logistics lessons can be gleaned from his experience.

Pagonis describes his battlefield innovations as well as his inspirational leadership style. Using historical examples and current business practice, he makes a strong case for better leadership and better logistics, both in the military and in the private sector. In the Gulf War, leadership and logistics came together, and extraordinary goals were achieved. Pagonis demonstrated what senior managers of world-class companies now recognize: good logistics is an important source of competitive advantage. “Moving Mountains” offers lessons for all organizations facing major operational challenges.

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Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

Rose George
2013

Eye-opening and compelling, the overlooked world of freight shipping, revealed as the foundation of our civilization.

On ship-tracking websites, the waters are black with dots. Each dot is a ship; each ship is laden with boxes; each box is laden with goods. In postindustrial economies, we no longer produce but buy. We buy, so we must ship. Without shipping there would be no clothes, food, paper, or fuel. Without all those dots, the world would not work.

Freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the Internet, yet it is all but invisible. Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of “flags of convenience.” Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates.
Rose George, acclaimed chronicler of what we would rather ignore, sails from Rotterdam to Suez to Singapore on ships the length of football fields and the height of Niagara Falls; she patrols the Indian Ocean with an anti-piracy task force; she joins seafaring chaplains, and investigates the harm that ships inflict on endangered whales.
Sharply informative and entertaining, Ninety Percent of Everything reveals the workings and perils of an unseen world that holds the key to our economy, our environment, and our very civilization.

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The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

Marc Levinson
2016

In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container’s creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

But the container didn’t just happen. Its adoption required huge sums of money, both from private investors and from ports that aspired to be on the leading edge of a new technology. It required years of high-stakes bargaining with two of the titans of organized labor, Harry Bridges and Teddy Gleason, as well as delicate negotiations on standards that made it possible for almost any container to travel on any truck or train or ship. Ultimately, it took McLean’s success in supplying U.S. forces in Vietnam to persuade the world of the container’s potential.

Drawing on previously neglected sources, economist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed economic geography, devastating traditional ports such as New York and London and fueling the growth of previously obscure ones, such as Oakland. By making shipping so cheap that industry could locate factories far from its customers, the container paved the way for Asia to become the world’s workshop and brought consumers a previously unimaginable variety of low-cost products from around the globe.

Published in hardcover on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage, this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. Now with a new chapter, The Box tells the dramatic story of how the drive and imagination of an iconoclastic entrepreneur turned containerization from an impractical idea into a phenomenon that transformed economic geography, slashed transportation costs, and made the boom in global trade possible.

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The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit: Over 100 Tools for Transport, Warehousing and Inventory Management

Gwynne Richards and Susan Grinsted
2020

The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit provides practical tools for warehouse, inventory and transport managers and students to help them tackle the challenges of logistics and supply chain management. It is full of practical ideas and information to optimise the management of logistics and supply chain processes.

The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit offers solutions and plans spanning across a variety of sub-disciplines such as warehousing, logistics, supply chain management, inventory and outsourcing. Each toolkit addresses key principles within its area of discipline, providing the reader with a precision approach to be used in complex and sensitive circumstances. The toolkit presents a number of major management tools such as Fortna’s Product Flow Smart Design, SMART, DMAIC and Gantt charts. General management, performance management and problem-solving tools have also been included to provide a broader, transferable scope of tools for the reader.

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