The logistics are critical activities that take place in a chain of supply. There are five main elements to the logistics within a supply chain, which are all equally important and different from each other. They all work in harmony to make the supply chain run as smoothly as possible, getting a product from the supplier to the consumer.
This piece will take a look at each of the five elements of logistics, how they work, and why they are important.
The role of storage warehousing and materials handling in logistics is to enable a consistent stream of product supplies from manufacturers to store. The efficacy of manufacturing needs to be on point to make sure products are ready where they should be. This is extremely important as the demand from consumers can vary greatly to the rate at which manufacturers can supply them.
This can create an imbalance in the supply chain, as the supply is a reliable part, and the demand can be fickle and hard to predict. To combat this inevitable mismatch, suppliers should store any surplus stock until the demand rises again. These products are usually stored in warehouses that are navigated with specialist tools and machinery to move products around safely and efficiently, either around the warehouses themselves or into vehicles for transportation.
An important factor when it comes to a supply chain is the condition and care of the product from start to finish. Packaging and unitisation are both an essential part of keeping the condition and care products in optimum condition, packaging being the immediate protection, and unitisation contributing to the transportation of goods.
Packaging and unitisation generally work to form all products into cube-shaped packaging because of its simplicity to move and store, which offers a greater chance of items being kept safe and secure.
Inventory is closely related to packaging and unitisation and is the process of monitoring what stock leaves and enters the warehouse. This is important as it keeps businesses up to date with what needs to be ordered in. This is usually predicted by previous statistics of sales and the analysis of other useful data.
The one step in common with all areas of the supply chain is information. There is a large amount of information that needs to be kept up to date and used to inform all areas of the supply chain of the next steps and previous steps before to keep everything running smoothly.
Information controls the very nature of a supply chain, such as what needs to be picked, packed, ordered, or put into storage.
A portal or a Logistics Portal System can be extremely useful in keeping this information all together, organized, accessible, meaning the whole operation of a supply chain can be tracked and communicated within one place!
Transport is perhaps the part of logistics that is most commonly thought of and can include many forms of travel such as cargo shipping, road vehicles, freight trains, and air transport. Transport is an essential part of a supply chain as it gets a product from A to B, which is how businesses are also able to sell globally.
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