Moving merchandise across the state, across the country, or across international borders involves more than simply putting it on a truck and driving off. Logistics is the planning and implementing of transportation and storage of resources.
The term logistics was originally a military term utilizing the concept of Napoleon saying that “an army marches on its stomach,” implying it must have food and other supplies.
Manufacturers use logistics to obtain the materials used to manufacture products and then to get the products to their customers. These customers include retailers who then use logistics to get the products to consumers.
Importance of Good Logistics
During the pandemic, there was a breakdown of logistics, especially as it related to unloading ships docked at major ports. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average time for a container from China to reach its final US destination increased from 40-60 days pre-pandemic to an average of 109 days as recently as February 2022. The resulting shortages on shelves across the country proved to the average consumer that logistics affects every purchase we make.
While consumers may notice the logistic outcomes of product availability and improved delivery and order fulfillment, the real value of logistics belongs to businesses. Well executed logistics can help a business
- Build and maintain a positive public image by having improved merchandising and product availability.
- Reduce operating costs by using the most effective routes and by product protection causing less damage.
- Increase efficiency with better inventory management which reduces overstock and shortages.
Transportation is the function of logistics that deals with effectively transporting physical materials safely in the most efficient, cost-effective way, and in a timely manner.
- Fleet management: use and maintenance of vehicles
- Routing: determining and using the best routes given construction, traffic, and weather conditions.
- Safety of goods: best method of packing merchandise and shipment loads.
- Freight Auditing: documentation and tracking of shipment.
- Compliance and regulations on international shipments: customs, tariffs, and documentation.
Impact on Transporting Merchandise
Load Planning is an aspect of transportation logistics that addresses how the merchandise is loaded onto the truck for transport. Many factors go into determining how a truck is loaded, including consolidation of Less-than-truckload shipments going in the same general direction. Load Planning must consider
- The packing needs of the merchandise being shipped.
- The weight and balance of the load.
- Loading and unloading order.
- Optimal route to destination and order of destinations if combined shipments.
- How well the containers containing the merchandise stack
- Equipment compacity and construction.
- Drive time and driver limits.
At Reveille, our safety-focused drivers will get your merchandise to your desired location in a timely manner and in the most efficient and cost-effective way.