The mission of the Chair in Logistics and Transportation is:

  1. to carry out scientific research in logistics and transportation;
  2. to apply the research findings to industrial problems arising from manufacturers, distributors and transporters;
  3. to provide support to graduate students in logistics and transportation at HEC Montréal.

Logistics and Transportation

Logistics is concerned with the efficient flow of products from their points of production to their points of consumption. It encompasses several interrelated activities such as demand forecasting, inventory control, transportation and warehousing. Transportation, the most visible of these activities, is also the most important one in terms of costs: numerous studies have reported that transportation often accounts for more than 40% of total distribution costs for products. Although logistics and transportation are an important source of expenditure for manufacturers and distributors, they also create value by making products available where and when they are needed, thus allowing a spatial and temporal separation between production and consumption. In the last two decades, business logistics has moved to the forefront of operations management and now constitutes a source of competitive advantage for many organizations. The globalization of the economy, the popularity of just-in-time manufacturing, the deployment of e-commerce and the trend toward outsourcing have all contributed to making logistics a cornerstone of the economy.

The accrued complexity of global manufacturing and distribution networks as well as supply chain integration efforts have also drawn attention to the importance of logistics. In turn, these changes have made customers increasingly demanding in terms of product availability and delivery times. To ensure that the right products are delivered in the right place, at the right time, and at the least possible cost, companies are thus increasingly turning their attention to the optimization of their logistics and transportation networks. This process is partly facilitated by the widespread adoption of information technologies which provide access to the data required for optimization, and by the growth in computing power which now allows large-scale problems to be solved.

Creation of the Chair

The Chair in Logistics and Transportation was created on April 1st, 2006, as part of the Canada Research Chairs Program. Since June 1st, 2016, it is an institutional chair finacially supported by HEC Montréal.