Transportation involves the physical distribution of manufactured goods …
Transportation involves the physical distribution of manufactured goods from the place where they are produced to the place where they are consumed, sold or distributed. Logistics is the science of transportation and is aimed at reducing costs by employing proper scientific methods to improve efficiencies during these activities.
Transportation of goods can be achieved by many means that can include roads, air, railways, sea, inland waterways, canals and even pipelines. Selecting the right means of transport can go a long way in ensuring the proper logistics. This selection can depend on the product, its nature and shelf life. Goods that are perishable require a faster means of transport. The volume of goods to be transported can often influence the transport means as well.
Transportation costs can be reduced by ensuring that the goods have to travel the shortest distance. Logistics also requires tracking of goods and their location at all times, so that there can be a faster turn around of transport equipment and their more efficient usage. Logistics can also involve the management of storage, warehousing, inventory, and packaging.
Transportation and logistics can lead to substantial costs for manufacturers. It becomes important to control the costs of transportation by avoiding unnecessary transport. This can be done by finding suppliers located at closer distances, buying assembled products, faster turnaround of vehicles, attention to time for loading and unloading and finding means to reduce it. Consolidating shipments, reducing the number of trips, eliminating the need for repacking and the proper labeling of products can go a long way to reducing the costs of logistics involved in the movement of products from manufacturing centers to distribution points.
Most modern day manufacturers use software and other methods that can help in the planning of all activities involved in logistics. Ensuring proper use of warehouses and reducing the need for storage can play an important part in improving the logistics and the need for transportation. Reducing the need for handling of products or finished goods or cutting down intermediate stages between factories and consumers can lead to efficiency in logistics. Conveyors and automation of handling can help in this.
Proper planning of production processes that can eliminate the need for storage and warehousing can go a long way to improve logistics.