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What is a logistics company and what does it entail?

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Logistics is a globalised process that involves many stakeholders and participants — drivers, captains, stevedores, packers, warehouse staff, road crews, insurers, supply chain specialists, management executives and analysts all form part of the logistics industry.
With such a large, multidimensional workforce all working “in logistics,” it can sometimes seem like a large and complicated industry
While some aspects of logistics can become complicated, fundamentally the principles are simple. In this blog, we’ll briefly look at what a logistics company is, and what logistics entails.
What is logistics?
Essentially, logistics is about ensuring that goods arrive at the right destination, on time, and undamaged. A logistics company is one which plans, implements and manages the movement of goods within a supply chain, between the point(s) of origin and the destination(s).
Some logistics companies oversee the entire journey, while others are only involved in one facet of the process. Almost all logistics involves managing goods as they move through a distribution network.
The various nodes of a distribution network include:
• Factories
• Depots
• Transit points, such as ports and rail stations, which may also be local, regional, or international
• Distribution centres, which may be local, regional, national or international
• Retail points, which can be literally anywhere
The journey that goods take through any distribution network will usually include various forms of transport — ranging from local road or rail transport to international ocean-going or air freight — and changing forms of packaging. Every stage in the journey requires monitoring, documentation and handling. International shipments also require customs clearance.
Logistics involves multiple subsidiary industries, including:
• Road freight
• Ocean-going freight
• Air freight
• Rail freight
• Freight receivers
• Storage and warehouse management
• Packers and packaging specialists
• Trackers and monitors
• Freight forwarding
• Freight brokerage
Because of the breadth of what logistics involves, smaller or locally-based manufacturers prefer to contract with third-party logistics providers rather than having a large in-house logistics department. Some third-party logistics (or 3PL) companies offer more than one of the services listed above, and exactly what kind of logistics company a client chooses to partner with depends on what that specific client needs.
Some types of goods, for example foodstuffs, chemicals and potentially hazardous materials such as gas or liquid fuel, require specialist knowledge and equipment to ship and as a result there are specialised logistics companies that handle such shipments. Cold-chain logistics, an important element of all foodstuff distribution networks in South Africa and globally, for example, involves specialised storage equipment, specialised vehicles able to transport perishables at various temperatures, and well-trained staff — as well as efficient planning and monitoring.
Every logistics management service provider has the responsibility to make sure that they are offering their services to the right customers. One way of doing this is by identifying their target audience, to avoid offering services to people who are not really interested.
5 – Right condition
Logistics management services are entrusted with products. It is crucial on their part to ensure that goods are correctly and safely stored and that they reach their destination unharmed and in the right condition. It is therefore important for logistics companies to carefully follow the storage specifications on the packaging of the products.
Another specialised niche in the logistics world is cross-border transport, which requires a company to be incredibly detail-oriented and punctilious when it comes to correct storage, monitoring and customs-clearance procedures.
Logistics is not a one-size-fits-all industry: each client needs something slightly different, and the assembly of a good logistics solution requires expertise, blending various transport, distribution, and handling options.
For guidance of which logistics solution will work best for your business, contact Mabenkwa.
www.mabenkwa.co.za
0100408327

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