When it comes to supply chain management, there are many days when I feel like Koreans are more innovative, or at least more ambitious in driving supply chain innovation, compared to Japanese in the logistics industry. Mostly, however, I feel Korea suffers from many of the same problems as Japan--primarily in that the logistics industries in both countries have traditionally been isolated from global competition and thus innovation has happened at each their own pace, or in ways very unique to the market--in other words, typically slower than in the West and not applicable outside the country.
Of course this is changing rapidly in both countries with deregulation, gradual consolidation, the introduction of new technologies and via the impact of increasing links with China's rapidly growing economy. When I travel to Korea for 4 days from this Saturday, I plan to inquire on some of the "on-the-ground" trends taking place on the peninsula and look forward to sharing some insights here next week.
In the meantime, I will also be translating a couple articles from the online logistics press in Korea related to logistics investment and also the creation of an investment fund targeting the logistics industry.
Until then, I want to point out an absolutely incredible and excellent collection of links on the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement over at Ben Muse. This FTA, if approved by both countries' congresses, will have a definite impact on the supply chain industry on the Korean peninsula, which I expect to ripple across all industries--even the ones that remain protected.