Essentials of Transport Logistics

Big Rig HDR

Image by butlerphotography via Flickr

Of all the functions within supply chain management, transport logistics is probably one of the most important. Why is that? A company can produce all the products it can push off their production line, but if they cannot get those products to the customers, there is no sale.

This is where transport logistics plays an important role–the responsibility for making sure the company is able to get the products the customers need into their hands in a timely fashion. Fulfillment services do not end with the production of the products; they end with the delivery of those products into the hands of the customers through transport logistics.

It doesn’t matter whether the company uses its own fleet of trucks, outsources all supply chain functions or contracts with a trucking company for its transport logistics functions; the key factor is that order fulfillment be complete and to the satisfaction of the customers. Without orders from the customers the company cannot remain in business and thus there will be no need for production or transport logistics in any form. Order fulfillment begins at the time a customer places an order, but it does not end until the customer has his order in his hands.

How does one place importance of something that appears so much a part of the operation of a company? It should come as second nature, but sometimes it doesn’t. Many times the company will try to cut corners by hiring unreliable outsourcing companies or trucking companies that want to make their own schedules. Transport logistics is too essential a part of a company’s business for anyone to take a chance on anything but the best. Customers depend on receiving their products in a timely fashion, and if you cannot hire someone who can guarantee prompt delivery, you will need to provide in house transport logistics regardless of the cost.

While it may appear to be a cost savings to hire an outside contractor or outsourcing company for your transport logistics needs, if those vendors are not reliable, you stand to lose more in sales than what you will save in costs. It’s essential to maintain an even flow between cost savings and transport logistics functions that are structured to meet the needs of your customers. After all, without the customers there will be no need for fulfillment services let alone transport logistics.