In today’s fast-paced business environment, logistics has become an increasingly important aspect of supply chain management. Logistics involves the coordination of various activities related to the movement of goods and services from one place to another. These activities include transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and other related processes. In this blog, Stream Logistics will explore what logistics is, the role it plays in the supply chain, and some of the services logistics companies offer.
What is Logistics?
Logistics is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the movement of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption. This includes transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and other related activities. Logistics is essential to the success of any business that deals with physical products, as it ensures that products are delivered to customers on time and in good condition.
The evolution of logistics can be traced back to ancient civilizations where goods were transported by camels, donkeys, and carts. As civilizations grew, so did the need for more efficient transportation and storage of goods.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution brought about significant changes in logistics. The development of railroads, steamships, and the telegraph revolutionized the transportation of goods and the communication of information.
In the early 20th century, the development of the assembly line by Henry Ford and the rise of mass production led to the need for more sophisticated logistics. This led to the development of supply chain management and the use of just-in-time inventory systems.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the rise of global trade and the introduction of containerization revolutionized logistics once again. Containerization allowed for goods to be transported more efficiently and securely across long distances.
Today, goods are transported through a variety of transportation modes, including air, sea, and land, and managed through the use of real-time tracking systems. Warehouses and distribution centers play a critical role in the logistics process, serving as hubs for storage, sorting, and distribution. The use of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence has further increased the efficiency and speed of logistics operations
The evolution of logistics has been driven by the need for businesses to move goods more efficiently and cost-effectively. As technology continues to advance, logistics will continue to evolve, and businesses will need to adapt to stay competitive.
The Role of Good Logistics Management in the Supply Chain
Logistics plays a critical role in the supply chain, which is the network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in the creation and delivery of a product or service. The supply chain begins with the acquisition of raw materials and extends to the delivery of finished products to customers. Logistics helps to ensure that the supply chain functions efficiently by coordinating the movement of goods and services.
Logistics is a critical component of the supply chain, and its importance cannot be overstated. Effective logistics management ensures that products are delivered on time and in good condition, and helps businesses to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. Here is how choosing the right logistics solutions benefit the supply chain:
Effective logistics management helps businesses to improve efficiency by reducing waste and increasing productivity. With proper planning, businesses can minimize the time and resources required to move goods from suppliers to customers. By optimizing transportation routes, using real-time tracking systems, and leveraging automation, businesses can reduce the time it takes to move goods and increase the number of products that can be moved at one time. This increased efficiency leads to reduced costs and improved profitability.
Increased customer satisfaction
Logistics plays a critical role in meeting customer expectations. When products are delivered on time and in good condition, customers are more likely to be satisfied with their purchases and continue to do business with the company. Effective logistics management ensures that products are delivered to customers when and where they are needed, reducing the risk of stockouts or delays. This improves customer satisfaction and helps to build a loyal customer base.
Improved inventory management
Logistics is closely tied to inventory management, which is essential for businesses to maintain adequate stock levels while minimizing excess inventory. Effective logistics management ensures that inventory is managed efficiently, with goods arriving at the right time and in the right quantities. This helps to reduce the risk of stockouts and minimize the costs associated with excess inventory. Effective inventory management also helps businesses to reduce the risk of waste and obsolescence, which can be costly.
Logistics is a critical component of a business’s competitiveness. Companies that are able to deliver products faster and more efficiently than their competitors are better positioned to succeed in the marketplace. Effective logistics management enables businesses to offer faster delivery times, better product quality, and more competitive pricing. This helps businesses to stay ahead of their competitors and win new customers.
Logistics has an impact on the environment, and businesses that are able to manage their logistics processes in a sustainable way can reduce their environmental impact and improve their reputation. Effective logistics management can help businesses to reduce transportation emissions, minimize waste, and promote sustainable sourcing practices. This helps businesses to meet the growing demand for sustainable products and practices, while also reducing their environmental footprint.
What does a Logistics Company do?
Logistics is a complex and vital process in the world of business, and it is essential for companies to understand what logistics companies do and how they operate. A logistics company is an organization that specializes in the planning, implementation, and control of the movement of goods and services from point A to point B. These companies provide an array of services that help businesses optimize their supply chain, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.
Logistics companies play a crucial role in the global economy, as they ensure that products are delivered to customers in a timely and efficient manner. These companies work closely with manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers to ensure that products are delivered on time, in the right quantity, and at the right price.
Logistics companies offer a wide range of services to their clients, including transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and supply chain management. These services are essential for businesses to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing market.
Transportation: Logistics companies are responsible for the transportation of goods from one location to another. They work with a variety of transportation providers, including trucking companies, railroads, and airlines, to ensure that products are delivered on time and in good condition.
Warehousing: Logistics companies also provide warehousing services, which involve the storage of products in a secure and controlled environment. They ensure that the products are stored correctly and are easily accessible when needed.
Inventory Management: Logistics companies are responsible for managing inventory levels to ensure that products are available when needed. They use various technologies to monitor inventory levels and ensure that they are optimized for maximum efficiency.
Supply Chain Management: Logistics companies work closely with manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers to ensure that the supply chain is optimized for maximum efficiency. They manage the flow of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption, ensuring that products are delivered on time and at the right price.
Difference Between an Asset Based and an Asset Light Logistics Company
Third-party logistics services are often used to manage the complex logistics involved in the supply chain. There are two main types of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) – asset-based and asset-light.
Asset-based logistics providers own all the assets needed to operate the supply chain movements for their clients, including trucks, trailers, warehouses, and distribution centers. In contrast, asset-light logistics providers do not own these assets, but instead offer their knowledge in contract negotiations with warehouses, trucking firms, and distribution centers to manage their client’s supply chain at the least expensive price.
There are several differences between asset-light and asset-based 3PLs. Asset-based 3PLs have their own carriers, which can limit flexibility and customization options. In contrast, asset-light 3PLs have a wider network, providing greater flexibility and access to multiple carriers and warehouses around the country. Asset-based 3PLs have more control over the supply chain since they use their own assets, while asset-light 3PLs have less control since they operate their clients’ supply chains through third parties.
Another difference is the potential conflict of interests, where asset-based 3PLs may limit customers from using any outside services that could reduce their profits. Asset-light 3PLs are more focused on customer satisfaction and will investigate inconsistencies in invoices, aid with claims, and improve shipment efficiency.
Choosing between asset-light and asset-based logistics providers depends on individual shipping needs. Many companies use a mixture of both to minimize their expenditure. Stream Logistics is a trustworthy and efficient carrier that provides streamlined logistics solutions to meet every need.
What is Over The Road Trucking?
Over-the-road (OTR) trucking is a form of transportation where goods are moved by truck over long distances, typically between states or even across the country. In the United States, OTR trucking is the most common method of transporting goods across the country, with thousands of trucking companies operating fleets of trucks for this purpose.
OTR trucking involves the use of tractor-trailer combinations, commonly referred to as “semis”. These vehicles are specifically designed to haul large quantities of goods across long distances. There are two main types of OTR trucking: full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL).
FTL shipping is when a truck is loaded with a single shipment that takes up the entire trailer. This type of shipping is typically used when a shipper has a large amount of freight that needs to be moved over long distances. FTL shipments are more expensive than LTL shipments because the entire truck is dedicated to a single shipment, but they are faster and more efficient.
LTL shipping, on the other hand, involves the transportation of smaller shipments that don’t require an entire truck. LTL shipments are typically loaded onto a truck with other shipments that are going to the same destination. This allows shippers to save money on shipping costs by sharing the transportation costs with other shippers. LTL shipments take longer to transport than FTL shipments because they involve multiple stops along the way, but they are cheaper. However, FTL is more cost-effective when moving large quantities of goods.
OTR trucking is a critical component of the supply chain, as it allows goods to be transported across long distances quickly and efficiently. Without OTR trucking, it would be impossible for many companies to transport their goods across the country or even across state lines. In addition, OTR trucking provides jobs for millions of drivers and other workers in the transportation industry. OTR trucking is often times more expensive than other transportation methods such as intermodal.
What is Intermodal Shipping?
Intermodal shipping is a type of freight transportation that involves using multiple modes of transportation to move cargo from one location to another. At Stream Logistics, this include combinations of trucks to cover short distances and rail transport for the long mile component. The aim is to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
Intermodal shipping is an increasingly popular method of freight transportation, particularly for long-distance and international shipping. It offers a number of advantages over traditional shipping methods, such as truck-only or rail-only shipping.
At its core, intermodal shipping involves the use of specialized containers that can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation. These containers are designed to be compatible with multiple types of vehicles, such as trucks, trains, and ships. This allows cargo to be quickly and easily loaded and unloaded from different modes of transportation, without the need for time-consuming and costly transfers.
One of the key benefits of intermodal shipping is its flexibility. Because it involves multiple modes of transportation, it is possible to choose the most efficient and cost-effective combination of modes depending on the specific needs of the shipment. For example, a shipment may begin with a truck ride to a nearby rail terminal, where it is loaded onto a train for a long-distance journey, and then transferred to a truck again for final delivery to the destination. This flexibility can help to reduce costs and increase efficiency by avoiding unnecessary trucking miles.
Another advantage of intermodal shipping is its reliability. By using multiple modes of transportation, there is less risk of delays or disruptions caused by factors such as weather, road closures, or equipment breakdowns. If one mode of transportation is delayed or unavailable, the cargo can be quickly transferred to another mode without significant impact on the overall shipment.
Intermodal shipping is often divided into two categories: full container load (FCL) and less than container load (LCL). FCL refers to shipments that use an entire container, while LCL refers to shipments that use only a portion of a container. FCL is typically used for larger shipments that require a dedicated container, while LCL is used for smaller shipments that can be combined with other shipments to fill a container.
In addition to its flexibility and reliability, intermodal shipping can also offer environmental benefits. By using multiple modes of transportation, it is possible to reduce the number of trucks on the road, which can help to reduce emissions and congestion. Intermodal shipping also often involves the use of more fuel-efficient modes of transportation, such as trains and ships, which can further reduce emissions and fuel costs.
What is Cross Border Shipping?
Cross-border shipping involves the transportation of goods and products between countries, allowing companies to reach more customers, expand brand awareness and drive more revenue. However, navigating the complexities of cross-border logistics can be a daunting task, even for established businesses. If you are an individual attempting to send a shipment between the US and Canada, you are likely to encounter a lot of hurdles in the process. At Stream Logistics, we understand the intricacies involved in cross-border shipping, and we are here to help you navigate the process seamlessly.
One of the key challenges involved in cross-border shipping is the need to comply with numerous rules and regulations. The customs process is an essential aspect of cross-border shipping. Regardless of whether you are shipping from Canada to the U.S. or vice versa, your shipment must clear customs. Governments impose customs laws on goods brought into their countries to ensure safety, but shippers who are unaware of these laws often experience freight delays. A country will not allow the entry of any shipment that does not adhere to its customs regulations.
When shipping to the U.S., your shipment could potentially be examined by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While it is impossible to predict whether your shipment will be flagged for customs exams, general determining factors include undisclosed algorithms, commodity type, and the value of your shipment. A customs exam could be a visual examination (tailgate) or a much more time-consuming full unload at the customs warehouse. Similarly, if you are importing an item to Canada, your shipment can be examined by the CBSA (Canadian Customs).
To ensure a hassle-free customs process, it is advisable to hire a reliable customs broker who can help you move your shipment through customs, classify freight, file the appropriate paperwork, and understand associated tariffs. The customs broker will make an entry to Customs, such as a PARS (Pre-Arrival Preview System) coming into Canada and a PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System) going into the US. Then the broker’s entry would make a declaration of what the shipment consists of and would account for applicable taxes and duties to get the goods released by the relevant country’s customs. Even if inspections of the shipment are unavoidable, an expert customs broker will efficiently work with Customs to gain a fast release of your freight.
Documentation is another essential aspect of cross-border shipping. All government-required paperwork must be properly filled out and given to the carrier in order for the package to pass through the border without delay. The shipment will be stopped, and there will be delays for everyone concerned if the paperwork is not available and prepared well. The main documents required for cross-border shipping are a commercial invoice, certificate of origin, and bill of lading. A commercial invoice is used to identify what is crossing the border, such as dangerous goods or food-related products. A certificate of origin confirms that the whole supply of the goods of a particular export shipment was obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed within a particular country. The bill of lading specifies the carrier, the location where the shipment will be picked up, and the destination, as well as the number of items and the freight’s weight.
What is project logistics?
Project logistics is the specialized process of planning, coordinating, and executing the transportation of large, heavy, and complex goods, also known as project cargo. This type of logistics involves careful consideration of numerous factors, including shipment specifications, center of gravity, origin and destination, securing and lifting points, and onsite supervision.
When it comes to planning a project logistics shipment, there are five general traits that must be taken into account. The first is shipment specifications, including weight and dimensions. These details are crucial in determining the type of trailer or specialized equipment that will be required for inland trucking-transportation.
The center of gravity is another critical component, particularly for heavy and over-dimensional freight. For example, cargo that is designed with an imbalance in weight distribution must be placed on that side of the trailer accordingly to compensate for the imbalance.
Origin and destination are also important considerations, as the potential route(s) for transportation may be limited due to road restrictions, bridge weight and height capacity, construction, permitting, and street-furniture. In some cases, river barges may be the only way to transport large units due to size and permit approval.
Securing, lifting, and lashing points are vital to ensure that project cargo is safely and legally fastened to a platform for transportation. The intricacy of the move may require multiple lashings and unlashing throughout the journey.
Finally, onsite supervision is critical to the success of a project logistics shipment. An experienced project manager can make all the difference in ensuring that everything is achieved as planned or, if something goes wrong, coordinating a swift and effective solution.
What is Port to Door?
Port-to-door shipping is a type of shipping service that involves the transportation of goods from a port to a specific destination, such as a warehouse or a customer’s doorstep. It’s a comprehensive service that takes care of all aspects of the shipping process, and involves the use of a dray truck.
One of the main benefits of port-to-door shipping is convenience. It’s a single solution for all your shipping needs, with a single point of contact and a streamlined process from start to finish. This eliminates the need for businesses to deal with multiple parties and intermediaries, reducing the risk of delays, errors, and miscommunications.
Another advantage of port-to-door shipping is the added security and protection it provides. With port-to-door shipping, the goods are under the care of a single entity throughout the entire journey, minimizing the risk of loss or damage. The service provider will also handle all necessary paperwork and documentation, ensuring compliance with international trade regulations and minimizing the risk of delays or penalties.
What Is Flat Bed Trucking?
Flatbed trucks are commonly used for transporting cargo that cannot be loaded into a standard enclosed trailer. They are designed with an open flat platform that can be loaded from the top, sides, or rear of the vehicle. This type of truck is often used to transport large, bulky items such as machinery, construction equipment, and oversized crates. Flatbed trucks are versatile and can be customized with different types of trailers and attachments to suit specific transportation needs.
One of the most important considerations when using flatbed trucks is load securement. Cargo needs to be properly secured to prevent it from shifting or falling off during transport. This can be accomplished through the use of chains, straps, and other types of specialized equipment. In addition, drivers must be trained and certified in load securement to ensure that all safety regulations are followed.
Specialized equipment services are often required for transporting cargo that requires specialized handling, such as heavy machinery, oversized loads, or hazardous materials. Specialized equipment includes a wide range of trailers and attachments, such as lowboy trailers, double-drop trailers, multi-axle trailers, and hydraulic trailers. These trailers can be customized with various types of equipment, such as cranes, winches, and ramps, to make the transportation process safer and more efficient.
One of the key benefits of specialized equipment services is that they are designed to handle unique transportation challenges. For example, heavy equipment may need to be disassembled and reassembled for transport, or special permits may be required to transport oversized loads. Specialized equipment services can help companies navigate these challenges and ensure that their cargo is transported safely and efficiently
At Stream Logistics, we specialize in providing customized logistics solutions to cater to your unique requirements. Our expertise lies in offering top-notch transportation, warehousing, and distribution solutions that are tailor-made to fit the exact needs of each client.
Thanks to our strategic partnerships with other TFI International family companies and our strategically located facilities, we can provide you with the best possible value in the market. Our consolidation capabilities make us an ideal partner for any network logistics solution that you may require.