Zaragoza. Logistics Center

Home > Research > Logistics Clusters

LOGISTICS CLUSTERS

“A cluster is a geographical proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and externalities”. Michael E. Porter, On Competition, Harvard Business Press, 1998, p.215

Strategic alliances have been a well-known concept for a very long time for industry partners. Companies work in a complex network of relationships with suppliers, customers, competitors, public authorities, and many other stakeholders. Successful handling of these relationships can result in a clear competitive advantage. Under the context of being stronger together each of the stakeholders involved in a cluster, or strategic partnership, bring into the cooperation special abilities in order to profit from cooperation with other companies. As of today, there are few economic development policies as popular as clusters. It is hard today to find a country, region, or even city that is not trying to develop a network of complementary and competitive firms.

In the specific case of the logistics sector, a cluster is a group of several types of companies and operations: companies providing logistics services, the logistics operators, and the shippers for whom logistics is a large part of their business.

With the current economic crisis putting a spotlight on innovation to diversify economies and create jobs, the political appeal of such collaborations is obvious. From the business point of view, logistics clusters show advantages such as: increase in productivity due to shared resources and availability of suppliers; improved human networks, including knowledge sharing; high trust level among companies in the cluster; availability of specialized labor pool as well as educational and training facilities; and knowledge creation centers, such as R&D institutions, universities, consulting firms, and think tanks.

The group has special interest in the characteristics that a logistics clusters exhibit and which make them unique. Also, the area of inter-cluster collaboration is on their agenda. In this aspect an initial mapping of the European, national and regional triple helix networks /platforms operating in the field of Logistics has been carried out through the WINN project to build a collaboration framework between already established networks in freight logistics operating in different areas and in different geographical levels. Download

Zaragoza Logistics Center is the headquarters of the National Centre of Excellence in Logistics, CNC-LOGISTICA, who designated ZLC to coordinate Logistop, the Spanish Technology Platform on Logistics, Intermodality and Mobility. Logistop was created as an intersectorial and multidisciplinary working forum, open to the participation and incorporation of all the actors interested in the field of Logistics, Intermodality, Transport and Mobility. It’s shaped as tool at the service of its members that carries out and promotes activities to mobilize and articulate the innovative critical mass and to align public and private strategies in R&D&I. Logistop was established in 2006 as a triple-helix network, bringing together companies, which lead the initiative, as well as technological centers, universities and other research entities. Logistop has 300 member organizations, 190 of them coming from industry (manufacturers, shippers, retail, transportation, 3PL, ICT and consultancy).

The Innovative Logistics Association of Aragon ALIA is an initiative of the Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) Foundation, Aragon Abroad (AREX), the Technology Institute of Aragon (ITA) and the Aragon Board of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, along with support from the Government of Aragon, which grew out of a need for integration in the Aragonese logistics sector. Since its constitution as an Association on December 2, 2010, ALIA has had a high number of public and private bodies among its members as well as the support from the Government of Aragon. ALIA's prime objective is “to foster and develop the competitiveness of the transport and logistics sector in Aragon, identifying synergies, business opportunities and innovation and international projects for the benefit of its members”.

Logistics Clusters Research Group
External Research Collaborators
This group has established a close collaboration with several world-class clusters such as, among others, the Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics (Dinalog), House of Logistics & Mobility (HOLM), Maritime Development Centre of Europe (MDCE), and Flanders Institute for Logistics (VIL).

Related Projects
Related Publications
News