Since logistics advanced from 1950s, there were numerous researches focused on this area in different applications. Due to the trend of nationalization and globalization in recent decades, the importance of logistics management has been growing in various areas. For industries, logistics helps to optimize the existing production and distribution processes based on the same resources through management techniques for promoting the efficiency and competitiveness of enterprises. The key element in a logistics chain is transportation system, which joints the separated activities. Transportation occupies one-third of the amount in the logistics costs and transportation systems influence the performance of logistics system hugely. Transporting is required in the whole production procedures, from manufacturing to delivery to the final consumers and returns. Only a good coordination between each component would bring the benefits to a maximum.
The Effects of Transportation on Logistics Activities
Transportation plays a connective role among the several steps that result in the conversion of resources into useful goods in the name of the ultimate consumer. It is the planning of all these functions and sub-functions into a system of goods movement in order to minimize cost maximize service to the customers that constitutes the concept of business logistics. The system, once put in place, must be effectively managed.
Traditionally these steps involved separate companies for production, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and retail sale, however basically, production/manufacturing plants, warehousing services, merchandising establishments are all about doing transportation. Production or manufacturing plants required the assembly of materials, components, and supplies, with or without storage, processing and material handling within the plant and plant inventory.
Merchandising establishments completed the chain with delivery to the consumers. The manufacturers limited themselves to the production of goods, leaving marketing and distribution to other firms. Warehousing and storage can be considered in terms of services for the production process and for product distribution. There have been major changes in the number and location of facilities with the closure of many single-user warehouses and an expansion of consolidation facilities and distribution centers. These developments reflect factors such as better transport services and pressures to improve logistics performance
The Role of Transportation in Service Quality
The role that transportation plays in logistics system is more complex than carrying goods for the proprietors. Its complexity can take effect only through highly quality management. By means of well-handled transport system, goods could be sent to the right place at right time in order to satisfy customers’ demands. It brings efficacy, and also it builds a bridge between producers and consumers. Therefore, transportation is the base of efficiency and economy in business logistics and expands other functions of logistics system. In addition, a good transport system performing in logistics activities brings benefits not only to service quality but also to company competitiveness.