The field of logistics is concerned with the flow and management of goods, services, and people between the starting point, or point of origin, and the point at which those goods or services are consumed, allowing the objects to meet the requirements of corporations or customers, depending on the industry, good, and or service being provided (Lummus, Krumwiede, & Vokurka, 2001). As the field of logistics is concerned with such a task, it can be argued that an effective transportation system serves as one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure within such a field. Transportation systems serve as the means by which those goods, services, and people can be moved from one location to another, a process that is governed by the practices of supply chain management and serves to allow the resolution of the purpose of logistics (Lummus, Krumwiede, & Vokurka, 2001). Understanding the role that transportation plays in the field of logistics is critical to understanding the field of logistics itself, and in identifying the interconnectivity of this field with other areas of the business world.
There are many different types of logistics that may be implemented, though two of the more popular are performance based logistics (PBL) and low carbon logistics (LCL) as a result of increasing concerns to shift to more sustainable practices (Kobren, 2015; Tang, Wang, Yan, & Hao, 2015). PBL looks at the optimization of the supply chain, applying an outcome-based support strategy for products that works to increase the overall affordability of the system due to lowered costs associated with transportation and decreased waste or overstock (Kobren, 2015). The overall cost of PBL is reduced through the optimization of the transportation of goods and services, thus affecting the logistics of product delivery. In optimizing the method of transportation utilized, the logistics of the product delivery may be effectively defined. LCL, on the other hand, looks at logistics through the lens of working to increase overall sustainability options, requiring the vendor to review total items shipped versus total items sold within a given period of time and allowing the organization to ship bulk shipments less frequently, ensuring that customer needs are met while at the same time reducing overall transportations cost and decreasing the total volume of emissions present (Tang et al., 2015). LCL utilizes transportation in a similar manner, however instead of looking for the most optimal means of product delivery, LCL looks at the method of product delivery that serves to decrease the overall amount of emissions created through the transportation of the goods sold. This distinction is an important one as it works to utilize the most fuel efficient method of delivery as opposed to the overall most efficient method of product delivery. Transportation in the field of logistics is changing as a result of the increased concerns for sustainability in the business world today, however, in spite of these shifts, the world of business, and the field of logistics, cannot operate without some form of transportation option.
As it may be seen, each of these different areas of logistics concerns itself with the manipulation of transportation to be able to effectively work toward the accomplishment of the identified goal. Should something breakdown within this structure, such as a truck failing to reach its destination on time, a plane being delayed due to bad weather, or a train wreck resulting in a delayed or lost shipment, the entire system will breakdown. Without the availability of transportation, the ability to get the goods or services purchased from the supplier to the customer falls apart. The same holds true for intangible goods or services that are delivered via the internet; if a line gets cut or if there is an outage in an area, this lack of availability to transport those goods or services will in turn delay the product or service from reaching the customer which will in turn create a logistical nightmare.
Supply chain management is the area of logistics that works to ensure that, among other things, alternative transportation routes are available, should a logistical issue, such as one of those previously mentioned, arise; also serving as a means of aiding the organization in increasing its overall competitiveness (Zhuang, 2014). If an organization is able to supply a good or service for the same price or less than its competitors and have that good or service delivered sooner, it serves to provide an overall boost to the organization. The application of supply chain management likewise works to reduce overall logistical issues, concerns, and considerations, however it cannot always negate those concerns or considerations. At the same time, this management must take into account the different types of logistics that the specific organization wishes to implement, for the purpose of overall optimization or because that logistical style is best suited to the business model of the organization. Transportation, regardless of the manner of transportation employed, serves as the very foundation on which those changes must be based. Without a transportation system, goods and services could not be delivered to their appropriate locations and the field of logistics would fall.
Logistics concerns itself with the delivery of goods and services from one place to another, looking at the best route to take based on the goods or services sold, the transportation preferences of the organization, and the business’s values and mission. Without transportation, however, such a field would not exist, as there must be some way to get those goods and services from point A to point B. Understanding the interconnectivity of these two distinct areas serves to provide a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of different fields of study, and the complexity of the business world as a whole.
- Kobren, B. (2015). Performance-Based Logistics. Defense AT&L, 44(3), 14-20.
- Lummus, R., Krumwiede, D., & Vokurka, R. (2001). The relationship of logistics to supply chain management: developing a common industry definition. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 101(8), 426-432. doi:10.1108/02635570110406730
- Tang, S., Wang, W., Yan, H., & Hao, G. (2015). Low carbon logistics: Reducing shipment frequency to cut carbon emissions. International Journal Of Production Economics, 164339-350. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2014.12.008
- ZHUANG Zhijie1, a. (2014). Inventory Information Management of Logistics Supply Chain. Advanced Materials Research, 989-9945453-5456.