Logistics and Transportation management are key for commerce and the economy at large. The terms “transportation” and “logistics” usually come hand-in-hand and are used interchangeably, but there are some notable differences. Breaking the two apart can help a person better understand how products are shipped.
When products are delivered to an end-user, they must be in tip-top shape. The wrong shipping methods can be detrimental, especially when the goods are perishable or fragile. Strict guidelines must be set in place to keep everything secure throughout the process. Logistics focuses on properly managing storage and transportation.
If products are not packaged correctly, problems such as spills, damage and oxidation are more likely. The wrong containers can destroy some products quickly, especially those that need insulation. In the event that a product goes missing or is ruined, it helps to document every item that comes in and goes out. If there are federal or state regulations, logistics ensures that the service adheres to them. Insurance measures are also a part of logistics management, as coverage is often needed when something goes wrong.
Logistics requires foresight and planning. A service must have a clear understanding of how the products will be received beforehand. Facilities should be carefully selected based on what they can provide for the business’s needs. From the beginning, a company should have an idea of how the products will ultimately get to the consumer.
Transportation is the precise method that a product gets from one unit to another. The most common transport methods are by rail, sea, road and air. While logistics is involved in the transportation process, the core focus is a product’s movement across a region.
There are several components of transportation. For one, the vehicle itself can determine how easily a product will get somewhere, if at all. For instance, a boat can carry hundreds of tons, while a plane has strict weight limits. Operation is the next component to look at, since the way a vehicle runs can affect safety, costs and timing. A train is less subject to delays than a truck since it operates on a strict schedule, but a truck tends to move faster than a train so long as road and weather conditions are good. Last but not least, infrastructure is integral. Terminals, railways, canals and other structures should be kept in good condition.
New technology has improved transportation over the last few decades. Navigational systems help operators find their destination without confusion and look out for disturbances before they come about. Consumers are often able to track their items and get an idea of when the product should be delivered, which helps them prepare. There are also entrepreneurs, such as Joseph Sarcona on Twitter, who have been improving transportation methods with innovative ideas.
Logistics and Transportation: Two Sciences, One Purpose
Transportation and logistics can be seen as two distinguished sciences that serve a common purpose. Transportation boils down to the movement itself, while logistics emphasizes how a product is moved and what happens in between. Understanding both principles can help businesses and consumers understand how their items are processed.
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