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Lean Logistics

Lean logistics cycleWhen companies and organizations want to improve their services by eliminating waste and reducing costs, they look to lean logistics.

It is an approach to business that sees companies endeavor to push at all odds to remain relevant while gaining a competitive edge over rivals.

Let’s look at how lean logistics impacts the supply chain as a whole, including an aspect called lean thinking and the 8 wastes of lean.

What is Lean Logistics?

Generally, lean logistics is a process by which companies recognize any inefficient and wasteful activity in their operations. The idea behind lean logistics is very simple: improve product flow by removing delays.

A great lean logistics model should see the company increase the speed at which products move across the supply chain. That then cascades into improved customer service and cost-effectiveness.

Here is a summary of what lean logistics is about:

  • Reducing inventory risk
  • Cutting supply chain waste for better service
  • Reducing operational costs
  • Improved profitability due to greater efficiency

As the aim of lean logistics is to improve performance and provide services that satisfy customers, companies use what we call lean thinking.

Let’s do a little more digging into lean logistics and lean thinking.



What Does Lean Mean in Supply Chain?

Lean in a supply chain relates to what a company does or how it runs its operations to ensure no delays, minimum waste, and satisfaction for the customer.

When a company employs a lean supply chain approach, speed and efficiency become its main propellers. The organization in question thus has that capacity to be better in terms of providing value to customers.

A lean supply chain is also important in that companies with this model can easily handle challenges that could potentially come from reverse logistic.

Lean in supply chain gives companies the advantage of establishing clear links to aspects like manufacturing, transportation, and overall company performance.

A better approach to lean strategies consists of having a continuous check on operations using five principles of lean. We look at what these principles are below, but generally, they provide several benefits.

Businesses can streamline processes across every level of operation and identify areas of wastage or non-value in:

  • time
  • costs
  • inventory (raw materials)

Companies utilize a lean approach to create efficient operations and reduce wastage in procurement, manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation. These operations cut across different types of logistics and can improve competitiveness as well as enhance a company’s overall performance.



What is Reverse Logistics?

Lean logistics boxesFor most businesses and organization shipping products to their end consumer on time constitutes success in the supply chain. However, (and quite often), things can be less than satisfactory if customers receive incomplete orders, wrong products or if the company needs to recall the goods for whatever reason.

These and many other scenarios call for reverse logistics. The process of moving goods from their final consumer to the point of origin is what reverse logistics is.

What does reverse logistics entail?

Generally, companies need to track and monitor their products throughout the supply chain. That includes considerations for what happens after the goods arrive at their final consumer. If there’s a need to reuse, dispose of, repair or generally create new value by moving the product from B to A, then a company would rely on reverse logistics.

Reverse logistics does have an impact on the supply chain, and companies need to ensure they:

  • Identify flaws in the returned goods/products.
  • Document the errors or challenges
  • Work on restocking the items

Proper handling of reverse logistics in the supply chain helps companies avoid repeats of mistakes. It is from these approaches that organizations look to lean thinking.



What is the Lean Thinking Model?

Lean thinking describes a business methodology that involves decisions aimed at eliminating waste via lean strategies.

It is the foundation of any lean approach to business and allows companies to think about ways of utilizing resources to the benefit of both society and individuals.

Lean thinking as a concept involves thinking about given activities and identifying the wastes that, most often, inadvertently form part of the processes of an organization or business.

The model incorporates three concepts that are also part of the five principles of lean:

  • Value
  • Value streams
  • Flow

When it comes to lean thinking, the aim is to integrate lean practices into the business. A lean enterprise would, therefore, be one where company growth aligns with value for customers. The products the company provides meet expectations are profitable and above all, involve minimal costs that aren’t passed on to customers and others along the supply chain.

It also means that companies or organizations have an environment where every person can identify and work towards eliminating waste. Employees learn to work together to remove duplicity, the result of which is a lean enterprise with more value and very little over-cost.

`We have already mentioned that lean is about reducing wastes, which is important given the potential for wastage to negatively impact profitability.

economics scale



What Are the 8 Wastes of Lean Logistics?


We talk of waste as those expenses or expended efforts that do not lead to profitability or where end products do not meet/satisfy end users.

That explains why companies are always looking for ways to optimize processes to remove any potential wastes in time, materials or costs. In lean thinking, the 8 wastes refer to any processing activity that affects value delivery.

Seven wastes relate to the original lean concept that applied to the Toyota Production System and is production-oriented. The eighth waste relates to how a business’ management manages personnel.

Here are the 8 wastes of lean:

  1. Defects
    Defects reflect incorrect information, poor documentation and lack of standards. Other wastes relate to the presence of variances within the inventory or poor quality control.
  2. Excess processing
    Excess processing is a result of poor operational designs or management issues. Duplication, human errors and poor facilities can result in excess processing. It is where there is extra work or more than what is necessary to satisfy the customer.To counter this, businesses use a lean resource called process mapping. It involves a workflow design whose goal is to clearly define processes and optimize them to eliminate waste.
  3. Overproduction
    Overproduction refers to instances where production is more than the need or before it is needed. Poor automation, inaccurate information and time delays can result in overproduction.One of the effects of this waste is excess WIP, a scenario that can create more scrap among other defects.
  4. Waiting
    Waiting involves all the time wasted as delays mean no proceeding to the next step in the process. Waiting in lean practices can be from human resources, the materials or WIP that triggers more waste.Waiting can lead to costs like overtime among other additional costs as processes delay. Companies eliminate waiting for waste using the same tools used to handle over-production.
  5. Transportation
    Transportation wastes occur when there is unnecessary movement of goods or materials. Poor process designs or poor layouts can result in transportation wastes. Companies use value stream mapping to reduce transportation waste.
  6. Inventory
    Inventory wastes relate to costs for holding the inventory and could be from raw materials, work in progress or finished goods. Companies can incur inventory wastes when there is over-purchasing, poor scheduling or forecasting. Defects and transportation waste can also lead to inventory waste.
  7. Motion
    Motion is a waste as it involves non-value adding time consumption, often leading to financial costs.Any unnecessary movement of people is a waste that can be cut using an efficient process mapping tool.
  8. Non-Utilized Talent
    This waste revolves around failure to utilize people’s skills, talents, and knowledge. In this case, the management may allocate the wrong tasks to employees or fail to offer the right communication.Organizations are encouraged to handle this waste by way of proper training, availing employee development opportunities and incorporating everyone in process management.



What Are the Types of Logistics?


Logistics encompasses several supply chain management processes: procurement, production, transport and distribution, storage and product return or recovery.

In logistics, four types stand out with each targeted at a specific supply chain process.

  • Supply logistic
  • Distribution logistics
  • Production logistics
  • Reverse logistics

Supply logistics– all the planning and synchronization needed to have materials move on time from one location for production purposes. Supply logistics also includes transportation and storage.

Distribution logistics– when an organization moves supplies to places where they are needed. Transportation and inventory control are also part of distribution logistics.

Production logistics– this type of logistics handles all the phases of supply and distribution related to manufacturing.

Reverse logistics– as noted above, reverse logistics relates to product return or recall. It could be in supplies, distribution or from an end-user.



What Are the 5 Lean Principals?


lean logistics techJames P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones first described the 5 principles of lean in 1997, now a major component of lean management.

Though lean thinking first focused on manufacturing, it has over the last two decades impacted all business management and transformed logistics. With lean practices in place, companies look to improve workplace efficiency through five principles that build upon each.

The 5 lean principles are:

  1. value
  2. value stream
  3. flow
  4. pull
  5. perfection

Identify Value

Identifying value for a lean team involves a constant review of the products or services from the point of view of customers. Companies employ both qualitative and quantitative analytic methodologies to arrive at what constitutes value for the customer.

Surveys, interviews and web analytics are some of the techniques organizations can use to determine what customers need and if they are willing to pay for it.

Map the Value Stream

Mapping the value stream allows lean managers and their teams to analyze and internalize value flow within the organization.

A clear understanding of the value stream means teams can pinpoint areas that add value to customer needs. If certain activities constitute non-value adding processes, that’s waste that lean teams should seek to eliminate. It saves on costs and time.

Create Flow

This principle allows you to create flow, mostly by analyzing the specific steps in the supply process. The key is to find out how you can maximize efficiencies, while at the same time reducing waste.

This lean principle involves streamlining processes and steps as a way of giving customers value.

Establish Pull

Establishing a pull in lean thinking involves limiting inventory waste and WIP to improve flow. It allows for the determination of what exactly customers need and use these to streamline the processes towards cost-effectiveness.

Pursue Perfection

The first four principles of lean help reduce wastes. The fifth principle, however, offers more as seeking perfection makes for continuous improvement. The focus is on elements that add value for the customer and eliminating those that don’t.



Logistics management conceptAchieving Lean Logistics

Lean logistics and lean thinking have become crucial elements in overall supply chain management. With lean strategies, companies can optimize every step and process to remove waste. Customers get value, while companies improve their competitive edge and profitability.

If you have any questions about lean logistics or how a logistics management company can help you achieve lean logistics,  give B & B Logistics a call at 1-877-512-0692.

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Logistics Companies Near Me

logistics management conceptLogistics is now a vital component of the wider supply chain, a very important aspect of local and global trade. Businesses continually tap into more effective strategies that improve transportation, storage, and inventory management among other areas like information systems and security.

Logistics companies provide services that help many businesses handle their logistics needs.

Here we look at what logistics companies near me are, how to find a logistics company near you and the benefits of using a logistics provider ‘near me.’ We also tell you who the biggest logistics companies in the world in 2020 are, as well as a list of the top courier companies globally.

What is a Logistic Company?

A logistics company is a service provider that offers services targeted towards supply chain activities. In most cases, a logistics company will be one that specializes in services such as freight transportation, storage, and warehousing. They may also provide services in the imports and exports industry.

Logistics companies endeavor to deliver value to their customers, a task that often sees them build a huge network of service providers across the supply chain. If it’s a freight service company, the network may extend across all modes of transportation. Here it would be surprising to find a trucking company connected in a way to rail, sea, and air transport.

Logistics Companies Near Me

A typical search engine result page for the query “logistics companies near me” should give you a list of all the major logistics companies in your area, state, region or country. That would be the case if, for instance, you are in Texas, United States and looked for top logistics companies.

As well as an online search, a look at the local classifieds and asking for referrals should see you access information on the top logistics providers near you. A lot of these companies are likely to be FIATA members- a check there is also a good idea.

But that alone isn’t everything there is for you to do if you need to get a provider that is right for you. You should be asking yourself this:

What Should I Consider About Logistics Companies Near Me?

Getting a logistics company won’t take you long, but deciding whether that provider is good for you is the most important part. Do you need a local trucking service or is it an international freight forwarder? Or maybe you are after a top courier service or even a 3PL provider.

What do you need in all these situations? Know what you want and what to look for in a logistics company.

Here is what you need to check to pick a good logistics company near you:

  • The logistics company’s reputation – check background for information on their reliability
  • Type of shipment handled – is it suited to your needs?
  • What’s their level of experience– established company or new in the game?
  • Get the cost estimates- in a written contract
  • What kind of insurance do they offer for your freight?
  • Can you track your shipment while in transit?
  • Safety record – if it’s a trucking service, choose a provider whose safety record is good. Start by searching here where you can find reports like this one.



Logistics Companies trucksWhat Are the Advantages of Using Logistics Companies Near Me?

Some advantages you are likely to enjoy when you use logistics companies near you are:

  • Greater control
    Larger multinational logistics companies might offer more, including monitoring shipments. But when you use a logistics company from your locality, you have that added advantage of ‘dropping in’ to see what’s happening in case it’s come to that.
  • Reduces supply chain costs
    If you choose a logistics provider near you, chances are your overall costs would be far less compared to using an international company.
  • Increased revenue
    It’s really simple- if you choose the right logistics provider from your area, you are going to spend less on logistics. In the long run, you are likely to convert potential expenses into revenue.
  • Get global quality services but tailored for the local market
    A good logistics company near you should offer the quality services you want. However, there is that added benefit of getting services tailor-made to suit the neighborhood. That includes the best mode of transportation for you.



Types of Logistics Companies

Logistics companies provide vital service to businesses that may otherwise struggle with challenges in their shipping. When a company finds a good logistics provider, for instance in transportation logistics, the support often saves time and money. But more importantly, it is pertinent that shipments reach their final consumption point (customers) on time and in good shape.

There are various types of logistics companies, many with services spread all over the world. There are smaller ones that may offer logistics services only in a certain locality. As such, the choice of one or the other depends on the type of logistics provider and business seeking its services.

Here are examples of logistics companies:

  • Freight services
    Freight companies offer services in the movement of freight, whether domestically or internationally. The choice of a freight transportation service will depend on the type of freight as well as its location. Companies in this industry can handle freight shipping via trucks, railroad, air, or sea.Carriers also provide these services, trucking being one of the most popular freight shipping modes. Companies can choose between full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) services.
  • Courier Services
    Companies that provide courier services handle logistics needs for businesses and individuals shipping smaller loads, time-critical orders or highly sensitive goods. Courier services offer you the advantage of safety and speed, with a high rate of customer satisfaction.
  • Freight Forwarders
    Freight forwarders work with freight companies to find shipping methods that are most efficient and most cost-effective. In most cases, you go for a freight forwarder when handling international shipments. Such companies will help you handle customs paperwork and negotiate shipping rates among other vital tasks.
  • Third-party logistics providers (3PLs)
    Third-party logistics (3PL) companies are those that offer outsourced logistics that another company needs. The services provided may vary depending on the provider and your supply chain needs. So you can have services in freight transportation or warehousing or information systems and so on.



Who Are The Top 10 Logistics Companies by Size?

The world’s biggest logistics companies get their stellar reputation from their experience and service provision. They are known for their reliability, speed, accuracy and overall benefit to their customers in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The top 10 logistics companies globally:

  1. United Parcel Service Inc
    UPS is a U.S-based logistics provider that also offers package delivery, courier services, and freight transportation. The company is currently valued at $106.6 billion. The company employs close to 500,000 people across the globe.
  2. Deutsche Post AG
    Better known is the company’s DHL Supply Chain division. The German-based Deutsche Post AG is the second-largest logistics company in the world with a market cap of over $56 billion. DHL employs more than 360,000 people worldwide.DHL customers include Nike, Chrysler, Lego, and Bayer Healthcare.
  3. FedEx Corporation
    FedEx has consistently ranked among the top 20 logistics providers in the world. The U.S.-based company provides logistics services in courier; consumer and transportation services. FedEx employs over 425,000 people.
  4. DSV
    Headquartered in Denmark, DSV is one of the world’s top logistics companies. It also offers freight transportation services.
  5. Kuhne+Nagel International AG
    Kuhne is headquartered in Switzerland and offers transportation and logistics services all over the globe.
  6. XPO Logistics Inc.
    XPO Logistics operates as a 3PL provider and has grown in recent years to become one of the largest logistics companies. The company has over 100,000 employees spread across the world.
  7. ZTO Express
    ZTO Express has its headquarters in China and is a leading logistics provider. The firm also offers services in freight transportation. As of January 2020, the company’s market valuation was $18.7 billion.
  8. Expeditors International of Washington Inc
    Value Today ranks this company 9th overall in the category of the largest logistics companies. Apart from transportation, Expeditors International of Washington also offers services in freight forwarding.
  9. B. Hunt Transport Services
    J.B. Hunt Transportation Services is a top U.S.-based logistics company that also offers trucking services. The firm has over 25,000 employees and serves a growing number of customers.
  10. H. Robinson Worldwide
    C.H. Robinson Worldwide has been in operation since 1905, growing to become one of the largest providers of 3PL and transportation services. The company provides freight forwarding services – air, sea, road, and rail.


What is the Biggest Courier Company in the World?

One that is sure in global trade is its ever-increasing competition, with overall advancement meaning that companies work extra hard to stay ahead of the competition. It is the same in the courier services industry, where some of the companies that started as local providers have consistently forged ahead to become global giants.

The biggest courier company in the world today is DHL International GmbH. The company was founded in San Francisco, CA in 1969 by Adrian Dalsey Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn. DHL has locations in over 220 countries and was acquired by Deutsche Post AG, a leading German-based logistics company.

DHL’s competitors in the courier services sector are UPS and FedEx. United Parcel Service is a U.S. headquartered logistics company founded in 1907. It offers package delivery and courier services in most countries in the world, handling over 15 million parcels daily. FedEx Corporation was founded in 1971 and has a presence in over 220 countries.

Other top 10 courier companies are:

United States Postal Service

  • Schenker AG
  • SF Holdings Co.
  • Yunda Corp
  • Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd
  • YTO Express Group
  • YRC Worldwide Inc



Logistics company truck with trainlerWho is the Biggest Transport Company in the World?

An explosion in global trade has seen key players in transportation create an ever-growing network that spans the global transport industry.

Although there are top companies all across the globe, American providers dominate the top 10 list of the largest transport companies in the world. Some of the major players completely dominate air, sea, railway or road transport.

Here are the biggest transportation companies in the world today:

  1. Union Pacific Corporation
  2. United Parcel Service
  3. Delta Airlines
  4. CSX Transport Company
  5. East Japan Railway Company
  6. Norfolk Souther Corporation
  7. Canadian National Railway Company
  8. Deutsche Post
  9. General Dynamics Corporation
  10. American Airlines


How Big is the Trucking Industry in the U.S.?

The U.S. is home to some of the largest trucking companies in the world. Revenue from the trucking industry has consistently topped $700 billion since 2018, with more than 3.5 million drivers working for either short haul or long haul companies.

Truckers move over 10 billion tons of freight every year, accounting for over 70 percent of all freight transported across the country, Canada and Mexico.

Some of the biggest trucking companies in the U.S. include Knight-Swift, JB Hunt Transportation, Schneider National, Werner Enterprises, and XPO Logistics (formerly Con-way Inc.)


Logistics company row of trucksDo Local Trucking Companies Still Provide Long Haul Services?

The trucking industry employs thousands of people, with long haul truck drivers one of the best-paid people in the country. Local trucking drivers are home after the shift ends every day, while long haul truckers often spend weeks on the road.

Many large trucking companies offer both local and long haul transportation services. However, a company specializing in local trucking services would not offer OTR services.

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Logistics Management

What is Logistics Management?Logistics manager

Logistics Management is a component of supply chain management that allows a company to handle the planning and implementation of all the processes put in place to ensure proper and effective flow and movement of goods and information from one point to another.

A company’s logistics management caters to functions like transport, warehousing, fleet management, inventory control, and handling of third-party logistics.

Under logistics management you are also likely to find the following aspects of supply chain management:

  • Product sourcing and procurement
  • Assembly and packaging of goods
  • Customer service

Other elements of logistics management include identifying and utilizing software and technology to achieve efficiency and satisfy customers.



Why is it important for a company to have an effective logistics management team?

You only have to look at your customers: if they are satisfied with the service, then it means the company’s logistics ensured delivery was timely, safe and cost-effective. This translates into more customer satisfaction which in the long run shows in a company’s reduced cost of doing business as well as profit.



What Are the Duties of a Logistics Manager?

logisticians workingTypically, a logistics manager works as the main supervisor in charge of a company’s logistics teams. The logistics manager’s duties include creating a budget for the department and coordinating logistics functions to fit an approved budget.

One of the main roles in this position is to ensure the efficient movement of goods through a company’s supply chain. Here, their duty includes examining and analyzing company orders for inbound or outbound shipment.

Duties also include creating and overseeing the execution of all the procedures that help optimize product and information flow. The aim is to ensure timely delivery of materials from source points or goods to end-users. These efforts are targeted at cutting the overall costs of operations for the company or organization.

A Logistics Manager also has the responsibility of identifying and selecting suitable vendors and providers as well as negotiating provision of these services.

Overall, a logistics manager works under a senior manager to oversee transportation logistics, freight delivery, storage, and inventory control. The Logistics Manager also receives various reports from junior officers and delivers the same to senior executives in operations.

Apart from holding supervisory roles, logistics managers will often be tasked with making day-to-day operations involving junior staff, including reviewing staff performance, scheduling work and hiring to fill vacancies.

As a logistics manager, you are likely to juggle working from an office and doing fieldwork that includes visiting storage facilities.



What Are the Average Salaries of a Logistics Manager?

logistician accepting jobThe average salary for a logistics manager in the U.S. is $65k per year, which can rise considerably given employees also enjoy various other perks like bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing.

Research by shows that on average, a logistics manager will get $4.6k in bonuses, $10k as commission and about $3k from profit sharing. The lowest-paid logistics managers account for 10% of positions and earn on average $43k per year. The top 10% earn on average $97k but the range varies from $90- $120 per year.

By comparison, logistics managers in the U.K. earn an average entry-level salary of £25,000. The pay can rise with rank and experience to reach over £69,000 per year.

Across the globe, the logistics manager’s salaries typically vary depending on several factors. In most cases, a logistics manager’s salary will depend on factors like level of education and courses, skills set, and experience.

Logistics managers who earn higher pay have professional skills related to Logistics, Supply Chain, and Operations Management. Low paying positions are those with skills in Inventory Control, Microsoft, Customer Service, and Shipping.

Entry-level logistics managers earn an average of $48k inclusive of all other perks. Moving up the experience ladder will see you take home on average $59k if you have a job experience of 1-4 years. Earnings increase with experience to top an average of $76k for Logistics Managers with over 10 years’ job experience.

Here are some of the popular salaries for logistics manager in the U.S. (all salaries are an average annual base pay):

  • U.S. Army and U.S. Navy – $75k per year
  • The U.S. Air Force (USAF) – $73k per year
  • Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc -$62k per year
  • Inc – $60k
  • DSC Logistics – $57k per year
  • Walmart – $52k per year.



Which Sectors or Industries Employ the Most Logistics Managers?

Most logistics managers work for companies that provide services in freight and transportation, warehousing and product distribution. In the U.S., the federal government ranks as one of the biggest employers of logistics managers.

In the U.S., logistics managers in Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and New York earn higher salaries at 6.0%, 4.9% and 5.3% above the national average respectively.

supply chain management


What is the Difference Between Logistics and Logistics Management?

logistics studyLogistics broadly refers to the process of planning and coordinating the movement of goods, materials, inventory, and people from one point of origin to another.

Logistics activities include handling processes like packaging, freight transportation, and warehousing.

Logistics management, on the other hand, is a function of the wider supply chain management that allows for the managing and implementation of a company’s logistics.

A company or organization relies on effective logistics management to handle its operations, right from the planning of activities to their proper and timely execution. While logistics will put in place mechanisms to handle things like product sourcing, transport, packaging and warehousing, logistics management will allow for the coordination of these programs.

Logistics management also incorporates many other activities of a company that normally would be handled under separate departments. In this way, logistics management allows for a scenario where a company can integrate its sales and marketing operations with other functions like transport.

Proper logistics management also allows for effective handling of reverse logistics. This is where a company can efficiently handle all the processes involved in returning goods from the end-user to the company.



logistics office


How Do You Become a Logistics Manager

Generally, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in logistics management, operations, business management or supply chain management and related fields of study to be employed as a Logistics Manager.

Higher qualifications include graduate degrees in the related field. Most companies require that applicants for a logistics manager’s job be experienced in operational work involving freight management, warehousing, shipping, and other management tasks.

Typically, an applicant for a logistics manager’s job should have 5-10 years’ working experience in a logistics position. Some employers will go for candidates with at least three years’ experience in management, preferably in logistics or supply chain management.

Other than the said experience in logistics, you may need to acquire professional certification from relevant bodies like the International Society of Logistics or American Society of Transportation and Logistics.

Begin by pursuing a relevant course that leads to the position of a logistics manager, and works to become highly knowledgeable about logistics management.



Are There Logistics Management Courses?

logistics management coursesNumerous courses are geared toward careers in logistics management. You can opt for an associate’s, bachelor or graduate degree programs in logistics, business management, and supply chain management.

Other courses of study are related to fields like accounting, business law or business economics, and computing programs.

Courses equip learners with skills in both domestic and international logistics covering key fields of:

  • Maritime logistics and shipping management
  • Transportation logistics
  •  Product distribution
  • Supply chain
  • Warehouse management
  • International shipping and handling logistics

Specifically, Logistics courses introduce study subjects that help students internalize planning and effective execution of logistics approaches.

Supply Chain Strategy courses offer an opportunity for business logistics and management with real-life situations.

Inventory Management courses allow for the development of skills necessary for handling and control of inventories. It includes being able to analyze and determine points of weakness in inventory and logistics.

International Logistics offers courses related to import and export regulations and related laws. The global economic environment, customs, and tariff systems are also covered, with emphasis on how logistics impact international trade.



Logistics Management courses for a Bachelor’s Degreelogistics management graduate degree

If you take logistics courses for your Bachelor’s degree, then you could study such subjects as:

  • Logistic strategy
  • Transport logistics laws and regulations
  • Distribution channels
  • Logistics software and technology
  • Inventory management



Courses for Master’s Degree in Logistics Managementlogistics management masters degree

Do you want to pursue a higher qualification in logistics management? You can take courses leading to a Master of Science degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Apart from diving deeper into aspects like research, you could further your grasp of the logistics course by studying:

  • Global logistics
  • Lean enterprise management
  • Purchasing strategies


logistics management banner


What is Supply Chain?

supply chainThe term supply chain refers to a collective process that incorporates companies, resources, people and technology and by which raw materials move from the source to the manufacturer and the product from the manufacturer to the end-user.

In simple terms, a supply chain is an established network that involves the production of goods or items, beginning right at the point where we get raw materials to a finished product delivered to a customer.

A supply chain caters to the entire production process, tracking the movement of materials and resources from suppliers to factories and finished products to the final consumer. The distribution channel is that part of a supply chain that involves the movement of goods from a manufacturer to a consumer.

That aspect of a supply chain that monitors the flow of materials, finances, and information is known as supply management (SCM).

A supply chain management program makes it easy for a company or companies to coordinate the flow of the above aspects. It also integrates logistics, which allows for planning and executing the activities that facilitate production and distribution.

The various stages of a supply chain constitute a specific industry that works with others within the broader chain. As such, extraction of raw materials forms a distinct component of the supply chain, as is manufacturing, shipping, trucking, warehousing, and inventory.



Of what value is Supply Chain Management (SCM) to companies?

logistics managementSupply Chain Management typically tries to have all process involved in product manufacture, shipment, storage and distribution linked under one network.

Proper management of a supply chain helps a company to cut unnecessary or excess costs while ensuring that products get to their destination or consumer safely and on time.

Companies employ Supply Chain Managers who coordinate the given company’s supply chain logistics. The duties of a Supply Chain Manager include overseeing:

  • Planning and strategy
  • Oversight over the supply of raw materials
  • Company manufacturing logistics
  • Product delivery and logistics
  • Report on reverse logistics

Companies that coordinate the supply chains effectively benefit from increased efficiency in production.

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Freight Transport

The global economy, right from the impact of that local business or e-commerce giant or a multinational conglomerate, depends a lot on freight transport. It is a serious business and a key cog in logistics and supply chain.

Every year, freight worth trillions move across global trade networks.  Most shippers want to get a handle on their logistics and supply needs and rely on freight transportation to meet customer needs and to stay ahead of the competition.



What Does it Mean to be Shipped by Freight?

freight transport logisticsFreight shipping (shipping by freight) is the transportation of goods (cargo and freight) in bulk. The shipments can be done via various modes, including on land, sea, air, rail or intermodal.

Companies and businesses can utilize a freight service to choose the best type of freight transportation that best fits their needs.

Freight brokers work with companies to ensure transportation needs suit logistics, with third-party logistics playing a crucial role in this.

To be shipped by freight, the goods, commodities or cargo have to weigh more than 150 pounds. Below that, it becomes a parcel to be handled by global companies like UPS and FedEx.

In freight shipping, methods of shipment like trucking or ocean freight carry most of the bulk. As such, the freight industry combined moves a staggering volume of freight. Each year the industry handles billions of tons of cargo, all worth trillions of dollars.



What is a Freight Transport Service?

Freight service is a company that offers services in freight transportation, with such companies ideally looking to make the shipment of goods, commodities, and cargo cost-effective, efficient and timely.

Freight service companies also serve as freight carriers. International freight shipping is increasingly becoming too complex for small companies, which has seen freight transportation services and third-party logistics providers take on a growing role in shipping.

In most cases, a good freight carrier becomes an intermediary and helps you:

  • secure shipping services at better freight rates
  • handle the paperwork needed for shipping
  • oversee the shipping process to help maintain an efficient supply chain

Some of the top freight service companies are:

  • FedEx Freight
  • UPS Freight
  • Estes
  • DHL Freight
  • XPO



Which Mode of Transportation Carries the Most Freight?

Freight transportation takes on several modes and what option a company goes for depends on the type of freight, the available transportation and the overall distance involved.

Improvements in container shipping and other economies of scale have seen maritime shipping become bigger, with vast quantities of goods shipped as sea freight.

But of all the modes of transportation used in modern freight movement, road transport accounts for the most freight. Road transport- using trucks- helps move over 50 percent of all freight and over 75 percent of freight transported inland.

According to statistical data from the Bureau of Transport Statistics (USDOT-BTS), trucks carry over 80 percent of the entire freight tonnage shipped in the U.S.

The agency also estimates that the total freight moved between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in September 2019 accounted for $101.4 billion worth of freight. However, the mode of transport used most was trucks (transporting over $64.0 billion of freight). Rail accounted for $14.8 billion of freight over the same period.

Overall, Maritime shipping accounts for most of the freight transported globally.



What Are the Different Types of Freight?

freight transport truckloadsGenerally, there are three types of freight:

  • Ground freight– the use of roads and rail to ship cargo
  • Sea freight- freight shipping mode that involves the use of ships and ferries among other vessels
  • Airfreight- cargo and commodities moved via planes.

Internationally, companies use any combination of these freight types- often called intermodal and multimodal.

Specifically, freight can fall under any of these categories:

Less than truckload (LTL): this type of freight typically covers shipments between 150 pounds and 15,000 pounds. Ideally, LTL shipment carriers move several small loads and can stop to load and unload freight enroute.

Full truckload (FTL): Full truckload freight differs from LTL in that here the weight of the cargo is more than 15,000 and involves the use of a single truck to transport one shipment. It suits transportation of bulk or pallet loads (24- 26 pallets) with less handling while in transit to the destination.

Partial truckload (PTL): Partial truckload freight is when shippers go the cost-saving way by splitting costs involved in hiring a truck. PTL differs from LTL in a way that once inventory is loaded, the probability of moving them onto another truck is pretty low.

Intermodal freight: Here inventory transportation involves the use of different modes of transportation. Typically, intermodal shipping makes use of rail and truck, with containers first loaded on one and then another before reaching the final destination.

Expedited: We use expedited freight when transporting time-critical shipments. Because they have to be moved from point to point in the shortest time possible, expedited freight usually happens via trucks or by air.

In container shipping, companies can choose from:

  1. Full Container (FCL): Like FTL, full container shipping involves the use of an entire container.
  2. Share a Container (LCL): when shipping freight using LCL, a shipper shares the cost of the container with others to minimize costs.



What is a Freight Charge?

freight charge freeFreight charge refers to the fees or charges levied for the transportation of freight inventory by road/land, air, or sea. There are two ways by which carriers can transport goods:

  • freight-prepaid
  • freight-collect basis

The first option involves the transportation of freight paid for by the consignor. This means the consignor holds control and ownership of the goods until a consignee receives the consignment and pays for it.

In freight-collect arrangements, the consignee pays the freight charge and thus takes ownership of the goods. The consignor hands over the goods to a freight shipping provider against a bill of lading.

Shipping companies peg their freight rates on a number of factors, which include:

  • Freight destination
  • Value of goods
  • Weight, size, and volume
  • Urgency/ time-critical
  • Shipping mode/type of transportation



Why is Freight Transportation Important?

global freight transportFreight transportation plays a huge role in global trade and by extension in the global economy. The freight shipping industry is responsible for the movement of important goods- whether valuable items like computers or bulk loads like coal, grains, ores, and heavy hauls like farm equipment.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Federal Highway Administration, the domestic freight shipment sector moved over 17.8 billion tons of freight every year. In value, that accounted for over $17.5 trillion in 2018. Globally, that figure shoots to over 100 billion tons and hundreds of trillions of dollars.

Freight transportation helps add value to goods. Freight management companies help bring a competitive edge to the industry and shipments reach places with much more demand. That adds value to production, making it one of the largest sectors that boost the economy. The shipping sector also employs millions of people, with several high paying jobs.

The industry also helps in the overall development of infrastructure. Think of seaports, airports, and roads- all necessary to accommodate growing transportation needs. Growth within the freight industry has seen the development of an extensive transport system spanning global networks. From here, the benefits of freight shipping reach far and wide in world economies.



What Are the 5 Types of Freight Transport?

The movement of goods from one location to another relies on an extensive transport network. Within this sector, freight carriers and companies choose between five key modes or types of transportation:

  • Road transportation
  • Air transport
  • Ocean/maritime transport
  • Rail transport
  • Intermodal transport


Road transport is one of the most-used modes of freight transportation. Quick, cost-effective and less tedious custom processes make road freight attractive.

Other advantages include flexibility (including the capacity for containerization), allows for both long and short-haul trucking and easy tracking.


Air transport has grown tremendously over the last few years. Air cargo serves those who want speed to meet supply chain demands. The concept of “just-in-time” has seen air freight services provide critical services to support to the e-retail industry.

Freighters carry all manner of light shipments, from perishable goods to pharmaceuticals and high-value items.

Ocean/sea transport

Ocean freighters move all manner of cargo, including that which may not be safely carried using most other modes of transportation. Companies use sea freight shipping to move dry bulk, wet bulk (like crude oil) and other heavy cargo.


Rail is a mode of freight transport that provides for both cost-effectiveness and intermodal transport.

Trains are seen as an environmentally-friendly mode of transport, with another advantage being its reliable transit times.


Companies can combine two modes of transport (intermodal), often to cut costs and increase efficiency. Businesses can save up to 60 percent in costs compared to air freight.



Which Freight Transport is Cheaper by Air or Sea?

freight transport air or seaIf you consider freight charges for both air freight and sea freight, no doubt the former appears much more expensive. However, one needs to consider that charges apply differently for both modes of transport.

While air freight charges go by weight, sea freight also adds the dimension of volume and container. So, going for sea freight makes cost-effective sense when applied to larger and heavier shipments that would otherwise not fit air transport.

Also to be considered are differences in warehousing fees, with seaports significantly costlier than at most airports.

What are the types of road transport?

The type of road transportation a company chooses depends on the type of cargo- (dry, liquid, gaseous, perishable, high value, hazardous, palletized or oversized and so on).

Trucks and semi-trailers like 53-foot dry vans, flatbeds, and reefers all carry particular goods.

Two types of road transport

  • Non-motorized transport (walking, cycling and use of domestic animals)
  • Motorized transport (all type of engine-enabled transportation modes- like semi-trailers and heavy haul trucks),


What are the types of cargo?

Cargo can fall into five key types, with the specific type of cargo determining the best mode of transportation.

The four types of cargo are:

Dry bulk

Dry bulk cargo refers to all items shipped dry and in large quantities. They include cereals/grain, iron ore, and coal among others.


This type of cargo includes items transported in bulk but in parts that can easily break (breakbulk!). Examples are wood products, cocoa, steel rolls.


‘Roll-on / roll-off’ (ro-ro) cargo go in ferries and other vessels – on at a point and off at the destination. The ro-ro cargo includes cars, buses, and trailer trucks.

Liquid/wet bulk

Such cargo includes crude oil, petroleum, vegetable oils and other items transported in liquid form. Liquid cargo is moved using tankers or pipelines.



What Are the Benefits of a Transportation Management System?

b & b logistics company logoA transportation management system (TMS) offers several benefits to businesses, with a particular focus on bettering supply chain processes.TMS can help a company move its freight efficiently and cost-effectively using any of the modes of transportation.

Benefits include:

Reduction in freight expenses

The TMS tool allows for process optimization and analytics which are key elements in cutting

Real-time tracking of shipping

Companies can easily track of drivers, deliveries and shipments. The result is more efficiency for the company.

Improves customer service

Monitoring tools in the TMS provide vital information to customers, who can then see/ follow freight movement. Improved freight shipping and expected shipment delivery allow for better customer experience.

Improves warehouse efficiency

Using both TMS and warehouse management systems (WMS), companies can improve their inventory management, including those in transit.

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Freight Logistics

What is Freight Logistics?

Freight logistics focuses on the planning, executing and management of freight by a company that specializes in moving commodities or goods through various means of transport.

A freight company is basically a logistic company that has a detailed framework designed to help its shipping or forwarding of cargo or goods. Freight logistics works as a component of logistics that is fundamental in the field of Supply Chain Management (SCM).

To understand freight logistics, you’d first need to understand the difference between what freight is and what logistics means.



freight logistics services


Fast · Easy · Safe · Efficient

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What is Freight and Logistics?

In international or global trade, freight generally refers to the cargo that a company transports from point A to point B intending to get commercial returns.

Logistics is a process, often in place long before anything moves. To simplify it, the planning and execution of how to move the cargo to meet demands in security, safety and time are what logistics is all about. It is central to business and that includes freight companies.

The scope of services provided by a freight company can include any number of services that range from freight forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing, and a whole host of cargo logistics among others.

While freight companies generally ship commodities, cargo or goods via sea, land, rail or air, most often these sections make up what we call sea freight, land/ground freight, and air freight.

  • Sea freight- a company uses a ship to transport goods in sea containers from one seaport to another.
  • Land freight- it involves moving goods via road or rail
  • Air freight- companies may own or contract air carriers to transport shipments from one point of origin to another.

In later paragraphs in this article, we compare road freight logistics vs. sea freight logistics.

In its evolution, it has birthed two vital categories of companies within the freight business: freight brokers and freight forwarders. Is there a difference between freight brokers and freight forwarders?

Yes, there is. Let us look at that by explaining what freight forwarding is.



What is Freight Forwarding in Logistics?freight forwarder

Freight forwarding is a service that involves the planning and efficient, cost-effective coordination of shipping of goods via any of the various freight modes of air, sea, rail or road.

The service assists companies seeking to import or export goods, be it international or national.

Although a freight forwarder may not move any of the freight, its role comes in acting as a key intermediary. Such a company provides services to an exporting or importing client by linking them to a transportation provider.



How Different is a Freight Forwarder from a Freight Broker?

Basically, a freight forwarding company will do more than connecting a client to a logistics provider- which is what a broker does. A freight broker mainly earns from connecting customers who want shipping services and logistics companies.

On the other hand:

  • A freight forwarder takes charge of all the logistics involved in the transporting of the goods and thus relieving the client of that burden, which in most cases can be quite a challenge.
  • In logistics, freight forwarding providers will negotiate the best prices for the shipments and use their expertise to choose shipping routes that guarantee timely delivery of goods to an endpoint.
  • Other than taking the responsibility of transport logistics for the client, a freight forwarding service will go further, providing access to key ancillary services like insurance, customs documentation, warehousing, and bills of lading.

A company with no internal expertise on the international shipping and transportation landscape will find the services of a freight forwarder very important.

A freight forwarding provider has to put all the logistics in place. Once this is the case, the company can proceed to schedule shipping, secure necessary documentation, manage personnel and track and monitor transportation among other key freight logistics aspects.

A company’s logistics will be handled by a logistics manager.



What Does a Logistics Manager Do?

freight logistics managementAn overall job description for a logistics manager is that they are supervisors who oversee day-to-day logistical operations of a company. In most cases, it involves implementing plans geared towards seamless business operations, especially when it comes to storage and moving of goods or cargo.

Companies and major global businesses are either providers of logistics services or have departments like that employ logistics managers. These companies are increasingly reliant on proper management, emphasizing this position as one that oversees the smooth flow of operations.

Logistics managers have the responsibility of overseeing a company’s overall transportation, warehousing (or storage), inventory, and distribution of inbound or outbound goods.

If a company, for instance, deals with freight forwarding, a logistics manager could be in charge of negotiating and scheduling shipping, as well as the staying in touch with all that happens around the transportation of the cargo involved.

As a manager, such a post may _in some companies_, allow you to identify, recruit and train junior employees in the department.

In this job, success is premised upon the ability to ensure two principles work out: timeliness and cost-effectiveness. Simply, a logistics manager is central to a business’ overall efficiency.

What do you need to be a logistics manager? Apply for such a post if you have at least a bachelor’s degree in logistics, SCM or business.



The Role of Freight Logistics in Product Transportation

supply chain managementFreight services provide for the transportation of an astounding volume of cargo and other goods annually, with the market worth trillions of dollars.

Growth and improvements in freight logistics have meant that the current volume of goods transported around the world has skyrocketed over the past decade. While most of the freight is still in the form of bulk goods, like ores and coal, technological and software advancements are making it pretty simple to use freight services for valuable products like computers.

Advancement in freight logistics and the overall growth in global trade also mean that unlike a few years back, much more is being transported now than it was the case then.

Freight forwarding has also impacted product transportation in a way that exporters and importers alike can move goods over long distances and to far more locations, all with reduced risks.



How Else Does Freight Logistics Affect Product Distribution?

  • Businesses are benefiting from ancillary services like product insurance and warehousing, which means that freight logistics is making cargo shipment a lot easier. It is especially true for companies that would otherwise be bogged down by the numerous challenges in the market. 
  • Companies are also able to move commodities and other cargo via complex transport networks, with current modes using any of air, sea and land mechanisms. 
  • The availability of major third-party freight service providers has also played a role in infrastructural advancements. These improvements are driving economic development and consumer satisfaction, the latter mainly due to reliable product transportation.


freight logistics supply chain


The Latest in Freight Logistics Technology and Software

Chances are that if you work in the logistics department of your company, that same position will likely be completely changed within the next few years. Here is why that could be the case.

Global trade, much like the rest of the world, keeps changing as information systems and software becomes more sophisticated and the world embraces new technology.

Freight logistics is adapting to this information revolution, with more emphasis on digital technology that enhances customer satisfaction and business growth. As such, companies are going big on software systems and tech trends in cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).

Developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) might still be in infancy, but the technology behind it is quickly changing the freight industry. Among the latest is the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) to track cargo from the point of origin to the specified destination.

• This technology is now capable of detecting any counterfeiting that is so often done when goods are in transit.

You no longer need to go through the tedious confirmation of receipts or scan bar codes to authenticate shipments. All the information is relayed in real-time, saving time and money.

Another technological advancement is the use of machine learning. Now freight companies can use sophisticated algorithms to calculate and analyze shipment routes, choose ports or determine when to transport certain cargo.

Emergence of mobile apps and advancements in cloud computing is also a plus to the industry. These apps combine with cloud-based systems to allow companies to improve their logistics, all without the need to rely on overly expensive investments in infrastructure.



What Are the Top Freight Logistics Companies?

b & b logistics freight transportAre you looking for a freight logistics job? You might be glad to note that there are various openings you can explore.

The first port of call, of course, is taking a relevant degree course. With that checked, one can always seek out ads by top freight logistics companies at sites like Go ahead and submit your resume.

Growth and competition in the freight industry have meant that there are numerous top class freight logistics companies doing business across the globe.

Opportunities in this industry can arise from anywhere, be it a small freight company that specializes in road freight or a highly reputable multinational like Switzerland-based Kuehne+ Nigel Inc. In the U.S, top brands include UPS Supply Chain Solutions and C.H Robinson Worldwide.

One of the biggest freight logistics companies in the world is China’s Sinotrans Ltd, while U.S.-based FedEx Logistics and DHL rank among the top 10 around the world. Other companies in the industry to rank higher in freight logistics are DB Schenker USA, Nippon Express and DSV Air & Sea Logistics.

You may already know of DHL, a top logistics brand that provides both air freight and ocean freight services. FedEx Logistics is yet another highly recognizable provider based in the U.S. that is providing a whole suite of services from courier to international shipping and package tracking.



Here are the top 5 logistics companies in 2019 (by revenue).

Smaller Companies May Better Suite Your Needs

freight logistics truck transportWhile the larger companies may drive the market, smaller companies like B&B Logistics may suite your needs better; especially if you are looking for customer service, reliability, and efficiency. B&B Logistics commands a fleet of over 2000, but still retains all the concepts on which their business was built:

  • Customer service
  • Dependability
  • Safety
  • Efficiency
  • Speed

If you have need of a logistics company you can trust, call B&B Logistics today at 1-877-512-0692.



Road Freight Logistics VS Sea Freight Logistics

Road freight logistics involves the use of land-based transport systems, networks, and technology to move commodities and goods. Sea freight logistics, on the other hand, focus on the processes of handling, warehousing, and shipping of goods via ships.

In road freight transport, companies rely on trucks to move goods from one point to another, be it at a port, warehousing unit or consumption point.

Why would one consider road freight? Typically, it works in smaller quantities and thus is generally flexible, more cost-effective and easy to work around compared to sea or ocean freight. In the ocean or sea freight logistics, forwarders usually handle the details of the shipment, mostly in bulk containers.

Road freight is also considerably faster than the ocean freight. The one setback is a lack of better road infrastructure, especially in developing countries, which might add to the cost of freight delivery.

Logistics is fundamental to product transport, and that is so regardless of whether you are looking at road freight, sea freight, or air freight.

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Logistics Services

logistics inforgraphicLogistics relies on the proper functioning of activities like warehousing, inventory management, transportation, and material handling. Logistics services specialize in these functions and are essential to the overall growth of the global logistics market.

According to the IMARC Group, the global logistics sector is set to grow by a CAGR of 4.7% between 2020 and 2025. The logistics market reached revenues of $4,963 billion in 2019 and is projected to be worth about $6,537 billion by 2025.


What is a logistic service?

Logistics service is a company or provider whose services involve the designing, implementation or facilitation of an effective and efficient flow of goods, services and information along the supply chain.

Ideally, logistics services refer to logistics providers that have specialized in the coordination and management of shipments. They work with companies to provide shipping and warehousing functions.


What is logistics?

The term logistics has been in use around the world for many years, with its application in the business world related to its use in the military.

Logistics relates to how a company plans and implements a detailed and often complex operation in the management of how goods and information flow from a point of origin to a point of consumption. The basic goal of logistics is to have an effective supply chain, all operations targeted towards satisfying customer needs.

Logistics allows a company to coordinate, manage and integrate its product value chain, right from supplies sourcing to production to transportation and distribution to the final consumers.

How does logistics services work?logistics services elements

Logistics services is a process, often interlinking several services and components. However, the underlying principle of logistics is an understanding of a company’s production value chain.

Logistics works by integrating the principle of Just in Time (JIT) manufacturing and delivery into a company’s workflow – raw materials, information, and products.

Personnel and software systems are put in place to make sure of efficiency and cost-effectiveness at every stage of the company’s operations. As such, logistics is a key cog in ensuring the forward or backward flow within the supply chain.

Proper logistics management helps a company or business to avoid some of the logistics problems they are likely to run into from time to time. More importantly, logistics prevent inventory accumulation or wastage. One way of looking at how logistics works is by considering the 7 Rs of logistics.

A company can handle its logistics or outsource logistics services.

What is logistics management?

Logistics management involves organizing and implementing logistics steps toward specific company operations. In business, logistics management refers to how a company deals with the detailed process of handling the flow of supplies, products, and information.

Logistics management forms part of the broader supply chain management process and is key to both forward logistics and reverse logistics.

logistics services managerWho is a logistician?

A logistician is a person with the education and qualifications necessary for them to work in a logistics position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, logisticians earn an average salary of $74,000 and $35 per hour.

What qualifications does one need to work in logistics services?

To work in logistics you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant or related logistics field. With these qualifications, one can take up administrative positions in a logistics company, including in as a logistics manager.

You can also work in logistics if you have an associate’s degree in logistics. However, companies will likely offer entry-level jobs in inventory, warehousing, and transportation. You can advance your careers with higher qualifications or more experience.

What is the role of a logistician?

The role of a logistician in a company involves overseeing, coordinating and analyzing the company’s logistics and supply chain activities. Logisticians are tasked with the role of managing the product cycle, including things like the acquisition of supplies, transportation, allocation, inventory management, and warehousing.

Logisticians also integrate and manage the use of software programs meant to help in streamlining logistical functions.

A logistician will, therefore, be in charge of programs like supply chain management systems, enterprise resource planning software, inventory management software and warehouse management software.

Duties of a logistics manager

logistician manager
A logistics manager needs to have strong leadership skills and have above-average knowledge of DOT requirements.

The job description of a logistics manager involves several duties as part of their day-to-day responsibilities. The duties revolve around the planning, coordination, and supervision of an organization’s logistics operations to ensure there’s efficiency and effective resource utilization.

Logistics managers, therefore, oversee activities in components such as warehousing and inventory management.

Typically, logistics managers will be in charge of a team of individuals in the logistics department. In this responsibility, a logistics manager will formulate staff duties and oversee things like remuneration and hiring.

Other duties of a logistics manager include:

  • Management of shipping operations
  • Use IT for metrics and data analysis
  • Manage supply chain functions, including inbound and outbound transportation
  • Formulate and implement safety policies in the logistics department

Payscale’s research shows that the average salary for logistics managers in 2020 is $75,000+, including bonuses and commissions.

Elements of logistics services

The logistics system comprises several elements that together form logistics components. These elements include key fields and functionalities in supplies and materials sourcing, production planning, inventory management, and transportation.

Others include packaging and materials handling, information processing, storage and warehousing, demand forecasting, and customer service.

The elements of logistics can also cut across functions in return of goods and recycling. What happens is that different organizations will use logistics elements that best fit their operations. In general, elements of logistics fall into these five categories:

  • Data and information control
    Data and information control is an element of logistics key to the flow of goods and other operational procedures. Companies need to have all the necessary data and information for their inventory, transport, warehousing, and distribution.
  • Packaging
    Packaging is one of the key elements of logistics and which contributes to the 7 Rs of logistics. You want to have the right packaging to get the right quantity and delivery of goods in the right condition.
  • Transport storage, warehousing, and material handling
    The element of logistics that deals with material handling and storage are vital to the movement of goods. The choice of trucks and shipping modes is one of the concerns addressed with proper transport logistics. It also includes all the equipment and facilities required to aid in logistics management.
  • Inventory control
    Inventory control deals with managing the flow of goods, both for inbound and outbound logistics. Apart from warehouse stock, inventory control also allows for sales data analysis and using software for demand forecasting.
  • Supply Support
    Supply support is an element of logistics that looks at the components needed to support logistics operations. Other than transport and warehouse facilities, companies need computers, software, communications, and material handling equipment.


logistics stagesTypes of logistics services

There are four main types of logistics: supply logistics, distribution logistics, production logistics, and reverse logistics.

  • Supply logistics
    Supply logistics includes the plans and processes involved in material sourcing and delivery to production locations. It includes transportation, storage, and inventory control.
  • Production logistics
    This involves the coordination of production operations, including product movement to storage facilities ready for transport to consumers.
  • Distribution logistics
    Distribution logistics also includes sales logistics and product movement from production warehouses to retailers and end consumers.
  • Reverse logistics
    Reverse logistics, which may also encompass the return and recycling of goods, is about the coordination logistics management process from the end-consumer. Excess, unwanted, damaged or faulty goods are removed, returned or re-absorbed into the supply chain.


The 7 R’s of logistics

The 7Rs of logistics relates to the seven things that a company must get right in the process of its logistics management.

The 7 Rs of logistics are about planning shipping strategies, implementing and then coordinating them to meet customer needs. Having a grip on the seven rights is also critical as it ensures effective supply chain management.

The seven Rs are about having the right product in the right quantity and right condition to the right customer at the right place, right time and for the right price.

  • Right Product
    Getting the right product in terms of standardized design and packaging can help a company’s logistics, including shipping and warehousing. It also factors in the cost of reverse logistics.
  • Right Quantity
    The right quantity means shipping what is needed and at costs expected. The principle of demand and supply should be in play here, which calls for proper inventory management.
  • Right Condition
    Every product must meet standards and specifications and be delivered to the customer as required. Logistics needs to ensure there are no damages before or during shipping.
  • Right Customer
    A logistics solution should always have the right customer in mind. Companies need to research and understand their target customers, ensuring the right customers are reached.
  • Right Time
    Logistics service providers must plan and execute their processes to ensure the timely delivery of products to customers.
  • Right Place
    Businesses need logistics solutions that help them deliver their products to the right customer at the right place. It is important as consumer demand can greatly vary from region to region.
  • Right Price
    It is important to price products and services rightly as part of logistics management strategies. Right prices are also crucial for a company looking to track its financial growth. Product value and price must correlate.


Major problems and challenges in logisticslogistics services problems

Logistics firms around the globe face several challenges and problems. Most of these problems are down to massive growth within the global trade industry. Nonetheless, various firms face different problems. Here are five problems of logistics.

  • Ineffective coordination
    Lack of proper coordination and fragmentation within the logistics industry poses one of the biggest problems. There are so many parties involved that coordination of operations becomes a challenge.
  • Errors in warehouse and inventory management
    Companies have run into huge losses for errors in their warehouse and inventory management. With so much stock to deal with, it’s possible to misplace products, pack wrong items or wrong labeling and so on.
  • Infrastructure
    Infrastructure is currently a major problem for logistics firms, with a lack of facilities at ports or warehousing shortage big challenges. Congestion, lack of capacity and delays also arise from lack of adequate infrastructure. Shortage of drivers is another capacity related problem that impacts transportation
  • Security
    Security is a problem, with goods lost due to a lack of due diligence from the various parties handling shipments.Other than above, lack of talent, pricing pressures, and difficulty in forecasting due to global economic changes can be also considered as a general problem
  • Regulation problems
    Logistics providers have to deal with various regulators and face many compliance problems, including at international customs.


How to solve logistic problemstransport logistics road

Solutions to logistics problems today involve the adoption of new technologies to digitize and automate workflow. There is also a need to improve inventory management and overall logistics strategies. These are some of the many strategies companies are using to solve logistics problems.

  • Use of software apps to optimize and synchronize operations
  • Optimize storage using robots
  • Use of AI and autonomous tracking of shipments
  • Use container and trailer storage to augment available space


Of course, if you want a trucking company to handle all this for you, call B&B Logistics at 1-877-512-0692.

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3PL Companies

third party logistics companyGrowth in global trade and developments in the supply chain and logistics industries continue to shape the way companies handle their business.

The modern company, from that small startup to global multinationals, increasingly finds it easier to have someone else cater to certain logistics needs in their business operations. The outsourced services go to companies we call third-party logistics providers or 3PL companies.

The type of logistics service you outsource, and what you get, largely depends on what your needs are. Again, the competitive nature of business has meant that you are likely to look for a third-party logistics provider that consistently ranks among the very best logistics companies globally.

Here we look at what a 3PL company is, sample the top 10 and highlight the benefits of using 3PLs.



What is a 3PL Company?

b & b logistics semi tailer truckA 3PL company is a logistics services provider that handles the shipping, transport, warehousing or such other operations as outsourced by another company.

3PLs are integral links within the supply chain as they help businesses scale their services, improve on production and meet their customer needs.

There are 3PL companies that specialize in providing a single service and there are those that offer several of these services. So a company can provide transportation only, while another would handle distribution and warehousing- all in one bundle.

Demand for 3PL services has grown as companies look for ways to cost-effectively handle operations while providing services that meet customer satisfaction.


Who Are the Top 10 Logistics Companies?

The logistics market is a trillion-dollar industry that market researchers project will expand to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023. Here are the top 10 logistics companies in the world.


United Parcel Service is a U.S.-based company, the largest logistics provider whose services span the globe. UPS handles supply chain logistics (mostly in package delivery). Its services include transportation (freight trucking), international shipping and distribution.

The company is worth over $22 billion, operates in 220 countries and employs an estimated 450,000 people.


FedEx Corporation is a major logistics company headquartered in Memphis Tennessee. The $18.1 billion U.S multinational provides transportation, shipping, and package tracking services. Its customers range from global e-commerce platforms to small retail businesses across the globe.


DHL is a leading logistics company that offers its services to customers worldwide. The company, worth over $10.8 billion in 2018, provides a suite of top range services. Companies use DHL for international parcel delivery, transportation (rail, road, air, and ocean), and general courier services among other services.

  1. H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
    C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW) offers third-party logistics services to a wide customer base across the globe. It is one of the largest carriers in the world and specializes in handling freight transport for food and beverage companies. The company had revenue of $14.87 in 2018.
  2. B. Hunt Transport Services
    J.B. Hunt is a U.S.-based logistics company that provides delivery and freight transportation services across the Americas region. This Fortune 500 company is worth over $4 billion and offers a host of supply chain solutions to its customers in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.

Nippon Express

Nippon Express is a Japan-based logistics company that offers solutions in procurement and distribution logistics. Its services are spread across Asia, the U.S., Europe, and Africa. Nippon employs close to 40,000 people.

XPO Logistics, Inc.

XPO Logistics, Inc. is a Connecticut, U.S.A based company that provides transport and logistics services. Its operations span the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. The company has one of the largest trucking services thanks to its acquisition of Con-way Services. XPO Logistics has operations in over 30 countries and employs over 100,000 people. The company’s revenue for 2018 was $17.28 billion.

Ceva Holdings LLC

CEVA Logistics is a global provider of supply chain logistics solutions to a growing list of customers worldwide. The company also offers freight management, contract logistics, and asset management. The Switzerland based company had revenues of $7 billion in 2018.

Expeditors International of Washington

Expeditors International is a U.S.-based logistics company that specializes in freight handling. Expeditors International employs over 17,000 people worldwide and had revenue of $8.1 billion in 2018.

Kenco Logistics

Kenco Logistic provides integrated logistics services to customers across the U.S. and North America. This third party logistics provider offers transportation, warehousing and distribution services to thousands of customers.



Is Amazon a 3PL Company?

third party logistics

Amazon Inc is the world’s leading e-commerce company and currently handles its shipping and delivery services via the aptly named Amazon Logistics. The arm uses a host of other third-party providers to serve its customers around the world.

What Amazon is doing at its 161 fulfillment facilities makes it look like the e-commerce giant is a third-party logistics provider.

  • thousands of Amazon-branded trailers
  • second-largest warehouse capacity- only behind DHL
  • 20 domestic cargo planes
  • rapid expansion of fulfillment centers across U.S. and Europe

U.S.-based 3PL analyst Armstrong & Associates (A&A) has noted that Amazon has rapidly expanded its warehouse space. According to A&A, Amazon’s capacity is almost the same size as the top logistics company DHL Supply Chain. If you factor in third-party revenues, Amazon could become the world’s largest 3PL company.



Is DHL a 3PL Company?

DHL is the world’s top third-party Logistics (3PL) provider per revenue in 2019. According to A&A, DHL Supply Chain is ahead of 3PL giants Kuhne + Nagel, DB Schenker, Nippon Express and C.H. Robinson.

The logistics unit of Deutsche Post DHL offers 3PL solutions in 220 countries, the most by any third-party logistics provider. Customers can outsource services in warehouse management, transportation, and packaging among many other top-notch solutions.

DHL recently became the first 3PL provider to integrate the services of truckload matching firm Convoy.


Is FedEx a 3PL company?

FedEx is a leading logistics company, consistently ranked among the top providers in the industry. When it comes to third-party logistics (3PL), FedEx provides all types of businesses with 3PL services in supply chain management, transportation, warehousing, and order fulfillment.

FedEx acquired third-party provider GENCO in 2014 and moved to increase its presence as a 3PL services company since early 2015.


3pl companies logistics


What is 3PL and 4PL in Logistics?

3pl companiesIn Logistics, both third party logistics (3PL) and fourth-party logistics (4PL) refer to services and solutions companies offer to businesses looking to handle logistics challenges.

A discussion on 3PLs often leads to one frequently asked question: what is 3PL in the supply chain?  The answer to this is in line with what third party logistics companies offer to customers along the supply chain.

To answer that, let’s look at what a 3PL company is in logistics.

A 3PL is a company that focuses on the more discrete solutions that outsourcing businesses need. The services of a third-party provider usually relate to specific logistics needs within the supply chain. A 3 PL company is, therefore, a link in another company’s supply chain and will handle key functions like distribution and fulfillment orders.

A 4PL, on the other hand, handles the logistics part that deals with the design and execution of processes within the supply chain. Fourth party logistics companies also provide oversight over your company’s supply chain operations.

More often, you’ll find a 4PL working with multiple providers. It could be a 3PL provider offering transportation or warehouse services. Ideally, you use 4PLs if you want to have one company overseeing all your supply chain processes.



How Much Does Cost to Use 3PL Companies?

What costs you incur for the services a 3PL company offers your business will vary from provider to provider. It also depends on whether you have discounts or special rates. However, having said that, general costs do fall into five categories.

The estimates available on FREE quotes pages may not be conclusive or accurate, and that means that the best option is to get real-time quotes.

Here are the fees you would have to keep in mind:

  • An initial set up fee
  • Cost related to the 3PL receiving your product
  • Storage costs paid monthly (per pallet, square foot, cubic foot)
  • Fulfillment fees
  • Shipping costs

All these charges could vary greatly from company to company and from region to region. What you need is to ensure you are sure what 3PL costs apply where and when every time you strike an agreement. Ensure you understand what costs apply to order fulfillment and what the cost per order is.

b & b logistics 3pl company


Why Businesses Use 3PL Companies?

Many companies choose 3PL as it allows these businesses the time and space to scale their production, focus on growth and put resources where they are needed.

Using a good 3PL provider can allow a business to create and improve on how they transition between seasons. It also offers that opportunity to benefit from expert logistics providers and ride their connections to build supply chain visibility.

The various connections logistics firms have also played a role in getting the best from carriers, freight brokerages, and warehousing giants. Most often, the reason to have a 3PL handle certain aspects of your logistics is to get access to certain advantages mentioned (above- and) below.


What are the advantages of 3PL Companies?

There are many advantages businesses get when they integrate or utilize 3PL solutions. Along with easing processes within the supply chain, 3PLs will offer the following advantages:

  • Expertise:
    Companies benefit from expert service providers and best practices within the space. When you outsource your logistics needs, you get access to reliable supply chain services. You are then free to focus on your company’s core business.
  • Network and optimization of resources
    When a company outsources its logistics needs, it gets access to a network of providers. Leverage this resource and you could end improving business operations, inducing efficiency and improving cost-effectiveness.
  • Saves money and time
    A company that uses outsourced services can save on capital and time that would have gone into catering to those needs. For instance, there is no need to acquire staff, train, get equipment and so on.
  • Improve company supply chain
    3PL providers have some of the best facilities, resources, professionals, and technology. They are thus likely to help a company improve its supply chain management.


What are the basic types of 3PL firms?

Types of 3PL firms refer to the various categories of third party logistics, with the categorization dependent on the type of service or solution on offer. Because they provide solutions to logistics needs, the basic types of 3PLs will generally be:

  • Transportation based 3PLs- examples are FedEx, UPS
  • Forwarder based 3PLs- examples include Kuehne & Nagle and C. H. Robinson
  • Warehouse/Distribution based 3PLs- for example, DSC Logistics
  • Financial based 3PLs – Chicago Consulting and GE Information Services are examples
  • Information based 3PLs- Nistevo and uShip

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies provide invaluable solutions and services key in the logistics and supply chain industry. Their importance is highlighted more by the fact that over 86% of Fortune 500 companies use 3PL services.

Choosing the right 3PL provider can be the difference between optimizing and destroying businesses’ logistics. It can also improve or influence a company’s customer services and affect aspects like repeat purchases.

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Transport Logistics

What is Transport Logistics

transport logisticsTransport logistics is a field within the logistics industry, which itself is a part of the wider supply chain management industry.

The movement of commercial goods, whether by air, road, sea or rail, requires everyone involved in transportation to adhere to certain procedures that ensure timely delivery to the consumer.

In a growing environment that is global business and trade, one of the key components of company operations is a department dubbed transport and logistics. This is where all of a company’s detailed plans and execution processes for cost-effective movement of goods from one point to another are coordinated. Let’s dig a bit more on this.



Transport Logistics

Transport logistics, or transportation logistics, involves the planning, analysis, and execution of processes that aim at ensuring the transportation of goods within the supply chain is smooth, timely, and cost-effective.

Generally, the term logistics applies to any detailed plans about the movement of goods (or personnel and supplies in the case of the military), from one point to another. But other than transport, logistics also involve the storage or warehousing of these goods as they move along within the supply chain.



logistics transportationHow Does Transport Logistics Work?

Transportation logistics is a complex field, often dictating that a company not only plans and optimizes its transportation resources, but also makes sure that it remains updated about every shipment load and every route used to transport goods.

Proper management of transport logistics ensures that plans and other processes are optimized when it comes to the use of resources.

In this case, companies adopt transport management systems that help promote effectiveness in areas like use of vehicles as well as storage facilities. What this does is that it provides for smooth movement of goods from manufacturer to distributor, retailer and finally to the consumer.

While a company can plan and handle its own transport logistics, many are increasingly relying on outsourced services provided by major third-party logistics providers. Here is where you find major players like FedEx, DHL, and UPS. However, you may prefer the reliability of a local small firm like B&B Logistics.



What Role Does Transportation Play in Logistics?

Essentially, transport management plays a critical role in logistics. Effective application and executing of logistical plans requires that movement of goods (and people) be a well-oiled and functionally optimized operation. Transportation will both create and affect ancillary services, which in the end could also affect the entire supply chain.

The role of transport in logistics is accentuated even more in modern commerce, not only for supply chain management but also for businesses to stay in the competition.

Aspects like same-day delivery have seen e-commerce giant and leading retailer Walmart go toe to toe. So, be it AI or call it drone technology, transportation is what makes these companies complete their logistical plans.


Here is an example of how important transport is to logistics

Take the example of Apple Inc., the makers of iPhone. If the company wants to ship its products from its assembly factories in China to the U.S in time to coincide with peak demand season, then it has to get its transport logistics right.

One of the things key to achieving that will involve a focus on their logistics around shipping and warehousing. Getting the finished products to the consumers thus will rely on how effective their transportation is, including right from freight forwarding, movement of goods to warehouses and final delivery to retailers.

For Apple, and any other company for that matter, success would mean there is no room for transportation logistics to go wrong. As an employee in the company’s logistics department, you would need to play your part.



Logistics Every Step of the Way

A look at any given company’s transportation logistics shows that realize that everything that falls in place begins with the planning and follows through with every step of implementation. All aspects, as expected, should hit home.

The first step begins right from when a company draws its logistics plan or decides to contract a logistics provider, to when it chooses a particular mode of transport.

The execution will then involve those down the supply chain, incorporating personnel such as shipping clerks, a company’s in-house transport managers, warehousing and distribution managers, and truck drivers.

Everyone in this chain must ensure movement within the supply chain remains smooth and cost-effective. A breakdown in the transportation process can deal a blow to that whole logistics operation.

b & b transport logistics


What is the Difference Between Transport and Logistics?

Many people ask for explanations about the difference between transport and logistics, and while the two are highly intertwined in terms of application, we can distinguish between them.

Transportation basically involves the ‘movement’ of commercial goods from point A to point B. Logistics, however, refers to that process that includes the planning and implementation of several management aspects to aid the smooth movement of goods along the supply chain.

Logistics helps a company handle everything from packaging, loading (or unloading), product inventory, shipment (or transportation), to warehousing (be it short-term or long-term storage).

Logistics as a service has evolved to become one of the most integral sub-sectors within supply chain management. Transport, on the other hand, is very crucial to logistics.

Let’s picture this: you have a huge party coming up this summer, and so you approach a friend to help you organize it. I bet one of the questions to likely pop up would be: “What are the logistics?” At this point, you explain all your plans and how you expect to execute the steps, all the way to the last episode on the D-day.

Now, if the planning involves the movement of goods and people, then one of the considerations would be how to handle the transportation part of it. In short, what would be your ‘transportation logistics?’

Basically, if you work for a company in the transport and logistics industry, your education and training should have prepared you for two things- both of which are crucial to the industry.

One is to have a thorough understanding of the various modes of transport, and two is to use your skills to plan and execute detailed logistical operations. The goal is to optimize the use of resources within supply chain management.


b & b transport logistics roadWhat Qualifications Do You Need to Work in Logistics?

There are many job opportunities available to you if you are looking to work in the logistics sector.

To qualify for various low-cadre jobs in the transport logistics sub-sector, you need at least a high school diploma and preferably a certificate from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL).

With other relevant qualifications, you stand a chance at being hired as a truck driver, labor provider or some other such jobs.

However, to qualify for hiring as a logistician, you need to have at least an associate degree. Chances of success increase with higher qualifications.

Notably, an increasingly competitive global trade environment, coupled with a highly changing and complex logistics market, has forced companies to seek professionals with bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Although logistics job opportunities are likely to favor graduates, having a degree in any of these areas could be enough to land one a job:

  • logistics
  • transport
  • computer and computing
  • economics (micro and macro)
  • information systems
  • management
  • geography

Other than the above subjects, employers often go for bachelor degree holders with qualifications in supply chain management, software engineering, computer science, and accounting.

You shouldn’t be surprised (as it is not uncommon) to find that most logisticians are graduate-level workers with degrees in courses related to supply chain and business management.


What Can You Do in Logistics With a Degree?

In the U.S. and internationally, employment opportunities abound for anyone with the qualifications required to work in the logistics industry.

Companies are always on the hunt for top talent, and a relevant degree in related subjects, as listed above, should land you an entry-level position as an analyst or distribution supervisor among other jobs.

With a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for recruitment into a mid-level position like a logistics manager, transport manager, warehousing manager, and distribution manager.

Higher qualifications like a master’s degree and Ph.D. and added work experience means you are eligible for employment in advanced management positions.


b & b logistics trucks rowWhere to Look for Transport Logistics Opportunities?

A degree in logistics should see you apply for and potentially land opportunities at any of the myriad of companies and organizations all the country and across the world.

You can seek out openings in the manufacturing industry, shipping sector, logistics providers, aviation companies, rail firms, major enterprises, and other retail businesses. The federal government also offers employment opportunities across the country.

Some of the major global brands and companies you can work for in the transport and logistics industry include DHL International, FedEx, and First Group.


If you think you would prefer to work at a smaller firm with a more family atmosphere, reach out to B&B Logistics. They are a growing logistics management company in Graham, North Carolina. Your can reach them by calling 1-877-512-0692.


Becoming a career professional in this industry does require more than a college degree though. To succeed, you need to be a good strategist, have strong leadership character and have both the knowledge and deeper understanding of all the regulations and rules that apply to the sector.


What is the Employment Outlook for Logisticians?

As per the government, the job outlook for logisticians is positive as growth forecasts show pace within the sector is as fast as the average record of all other companies. The sector should grow by 7% annually between 2016 and 2026 and adding about 10,300 new jobs.

Notably, the government expects growth to be driven by the need to hire new talents to replace retiring employees or those exiting the sector. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), says that prospects within this time (2016-2026) look great for those who graduate with bachelor’s degrees and have added experience in logistical software or military logistics.

What about the perks enjoyed by logisticians? The current median annual pay for logisticians is about $74,600, translating to about $35.86 an hour for a normal work shift. According to the BLS, the typical entry-level qualification for a job in logistics in this period should remain a bachelor’s degree.


truck transportAre There Job Opportunities in Transport and Logistics for Non-Graduates?

While most openings in the transport and logistics industry are open to degree holders, a good portion is still available to non-graduates. As noted earlier, there is a whole cadre of job offerings that present a great chance for one to further their career even when they have no degree.

Roles like those offered to drivers or pilots do not necessarily dictate that one must have a degree. As noted earlier, a high school diploma combined with other professional certificates is enough to see you get employed.

Apart from that, one is likely to benefit from programs like apprenticeships and other on-job training. These are offered by several companies and are tailored to provide opportunities for one to gain the much-needed experience and skills that can come in handy when looking to advance within the industry.

Transport logistics is a vital field within the broader supply chain management and employment opportunities are increasingly becoming competitive. If you are looking to further your career in the industry, the best starting point is to enroll for a degree course that relates to what employers are looking for in prospective recruits.

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Logistics Supply

In the grand scheme of business operations, you cannot fail to look at logistics and supply chain.

A company or organization that needs to operate with effectiveness and efficiency must get its logistics right. Here we look at logistics and how it relates to supply chain management. Find out the types of logistics, activities, and 7Rs that every company needs to know.  Logistics supply is important to the success of every aspect of the supply chain process.


What is Supply and Logistics

Supply and logistics bring together that network of intersecting components that help companies or organizations get or move materials, people and products.

In global trade, supply and logistics involve anything from purchasing, transportation, logistics, storage and warehousing, inventory management and supply chain management.

For an efficient supply chain, the logistics must be right.

For instance, companies must find the most cost-effective shipping methods, employ the best warehousing and inventory control systems, and get other logistics strategies spot-on to be able to deliver for their customers.


logistics supply chainWhat is Logistics in Supply Chain Management?

According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), logistics is a “part of the supply chain process.” It involves the planning, implementation, and control of how goods, services, and information flow from and between a point of origin and consumption- be it at production or end consumer.

In supply chain management, logistics comprises of several activities that together help make for an efficient and synchronized supply chain.

When you have a network of suppliers and distributors, proper logistics management ensures that products reach customers at the right time. More than that, these products will be of the right quality and in the right condition.

The processes in logistics can be handled on two fronts:

  • Inbound logistics
  • Outbound logistics
  • Reverse logistics

Inbound logistics involves the process of procuring materials, handling their inventory, transportation to (and storage in) company warehouses and so on.

Outbound logistics concerns product collection, storage and transportation to distribution centers or to end point consumers.

There is also reverse logistics which involves the movement of products from their typical final destination back to the company. Reverse logistics may be necessary in case of recalls, servicing, decommissioning or recycling.


What does logistics mean?

Logistics in lay language means what a business does to facilitate the smooth flow of materials and information. It also includes a clear understanding of what management and control systems add to the efficiency of the business.

The overall aim is to improve the movement and storage of goods- whether within or out of the company.


logistics typesWhat Are the Types of Logistics?

There are several types of logistics, each type referring to the core activities in that field. While these types appear distinct, they are all interlinked.

We have:

  • procurement logistics
  • transport logistics
  • production logistics
  • sales logistics
  • information logistics
  • recovery logistics

Procurement logistics 

It relates to the process of obtaining raw materials from suppliers. What follows is a flow of information and procured materials via transportation, warehousing, and production. Production logistics has evolved to see manufacturers focus on cost-saving on inventory through an approach called “just-in-time” production.

 Transport logistics

This part of logistics often revolves around how an organization manages its transportation systems. Transport plays a key part in logistics and covers all areas that involve the movement of raw materials or products.  Transport links warehouses, suppliers and distributors, and customers. It is a multimodal logistics component and can involve third party providers.

Production Logistics

As the name suggests, production logistics relates to the coordination and executing of plans towards conversion and product management. What happens and how- from raw materials or goods to internal distribution, packaging, and storage within the factory.

Sales Logistics

It also covers the distribution channels. Sales logistics is the flow of product from delivery to warehouses and distribution points. It also covers wholesalers, retailers, and customers. A smooth interlink between sales logistics and other aspects of logistics can aid in achieving higher efficiency towards customer satisfaction.

Recovery Logistics

Recovery logistics is also called reverse logistics. In recovery logistics, the focus is on aspects like product recovery, recycling, repackaging or decommissioning.

Information logistics

This is a part of logistics that emphasizes on how to best link other aspects of the company logistics. It is critical to procurement and supply, product management, transport, and marketing.


Is Logistics the Same as Supply Chain?

Often, people talk of logistics and supply chain as though they are the same thing. It is easy to get confused as functionally, logistic and supply chain intertwine.

That has often led to one big question: Is logistics the same as supply chain?

The answer is no, it’s not. The fact that you can use these words interchangeably doesn’t take away the difference in what they mean and the role each has in business and global trade.

Logistics mainly focuses on the efficient movement of materials and information to increase cost-effectiveness. It is a part of supply chain management (SCM).

Supply chain or SCM broadly encompasses all activities of the firm, inclusive of logistics. It is how separate organizations or companies connect to a network of suppliers, distributors, third-party providers, and customers.

How then do you distinguish between logistics and supply chain? Think of logistics as a component of supply chain that is geared towards customer satisfaction. Supply chain management, on the other hand, aims at giving the company a competitive edge.


logistics supply b & b semi truck


b & b logistics supplyWhat Are the Key Activities in Logistics?

Logistics comprises interdependent components that also make up what we call logistics activities.

There could be several activities within a firm’s logistics activities, but the most common ones are:

  • costumer response
  • inventory planning and management
  • supply
  • transportation
  • warehousing
  • Packaging
  • Information processing
  • Demand forecasting

Various organizations or companies draw from any number of activities to accomplish their key focus. For most firms, the key is to have a logistics management system that helps provide satisfaction to customers.

They may also want to integrate activities that keep them ahead of the competition- a factor that sees many adopt additional functions within their logistics system.

Let’s look at five of these activities that are core to any firm or business.

Customer Response

Customer response logistics involves the development of a customer service policy (CSP). This links to customer feedback, order entry (OE), and order processing (OP), with the aim being to have a CSP that reduces lost sales to a bare minimum.

Inventory Planning and Management

Inventory planning and management (IP&M) is a function of logistics that seeks to keep inventory costs as low as possible.  Through strategies like forecasting, and service level optimization, IP&M works towards satisfying what the firm has in its CSP.


Supply involves inventory building via procurement or production. Here the firm wants to meet its inventory planning targets through activities like sourcing and purchase order processing. In logistics, supply is about cutting total acquisition costs (TAC) to a minimum.


Transportation forms a key aspect of logistics and essentially links the various functions. We use our transport strategies to link CSP to inventory, supply, and warehousing.

A transportation plan comes into play once the other aspects are in place and will focus on shipment methods, last-mile delivery, and freight and fleet management among others.


Companies plan their logistics around many activities and warehousing forms one of the key components. This function can be handled internally or outsourced. Proper warehousing management always cuts costs and compliments the achievement of the targets set in the CSP.


What Are Some Terms Used in Logistics?

Logistics has some unique terms that you’d do well to learn if you are looking to understand the industry. Here are a few that you are likely to encounter more often.

Bill of Lading (BOL) – a contract that legally-binds a shipper and a carrier and often stipulates everything that concerns the shipment.


Consignee – that individual that is supposed to receive a shipment and is under obligation to pay for the shipment. A consignor would be the sender (also the seller) while consignment refers to the goods.

Inbound Freight – any shipment coming into a company from a vendor.

Landed Cost – it’s the total cost of a product. It includes the base cost, transport, taxes, and insurance.

NVOCC – stands for “non-vessel operating common carrier”. An NVOCC is also called a freight forwarder.

3PL – “third party logistics” is a service provider who outsources their solutions to other companies.

Intermodal – refers to the use of two or more transportation methods. Examples could be truck and rail or truck to air.

White Glove Delivery – in logistics, a White Glove Delivery refers to a premium service meant for the transport of fragile or high-value goods.

Final Mile Delivery – used to refer to shipping goods to their final destination. It’s also called last-mile delivery.

Cross Docking – it is a distribution system that involves receiving a shipment from a supplier at the dock and then loading them onto outbound trucks to distribute directly to the customer.


b & b logistics logistics supplyWhat Are the 7 Rs of Logistics?

Logistics is about moving goods, services or information in a way that there is effectiveness and efficiency in delivering them to their final destination. And because it is about satisfying customers, the Rs of logistics come in very handy for companies.

As such, the 7 Rs of logistics involve the “right” of what a company should focus on to meet requirements in their customer service policy. The seven Rs are:

  • Right product
  • Right quantity
  • Right condition
  • Right place
  • Right time
  • Right customer
  • Right price

Right Product – a good logistics management system must work towards delivering the right product. It helps in being cost-effective.

Right Quantity – in logistics, getting the right quantity is crucial to customer satisfaction. Companies now employ sophisticated technology to track shipments and ensure customers get the right goods in the right quantity.

Right Condition – it’s paramount to deliver goods or products in the right condition. Things like product specifications should meet standards and be maintained in the finished product delivered to the consumer.

Right Place – a company must deliver the product to the right place. Synchronization of the transport system and customers will help achieve this.

Right Time – logistics needs to get the goods delivered on time. Consumers are quick to note delays in delivery.

Right Customer – put simply, the product should be tailored and delivered to the right customer or market. This is how you gain leads and forge a competitive edge.

Right Price – A company must get its pricing right not only to meet customer needs but also factor in company expenses and revenue projections.


How Does 3PL Logistics Work?

Third-party logistics, or 3PL, is a service that allows companies or organizations to outsource some of their operational logistics.

A company will often identify aspects of its logistics that it doesn’t want to handle. The firm gets into a contract with a 3PL provider who will offer the services required only when needed.

The services a 3PL can provide include warehousing, order fulfillment, transportation, and packaging among others. 3PLs allow companies to focus on their core business of product development.

Another benefit comes in the form of cost savings in terms of reduced expenses on hiring staff.

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Long Haul Trucking Companies

Trucking is a $700 billion industry in the U.S and long haul trucking is an integral cog of this ever-growing sector. According to the American Trucking Association, close to 70 percent of all freight transported in the U.S. is done via trucks. The sector employs roughly 7.7 million people, with 3.5 million of them truck drivers.

Of the truck driver jobs, about 1.7 million are long haul truck drivers who earn one the highest income in the transport industry.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects jobs in the sector should grow by 5 percent between 2018 and 2028. Add to that the fact that many long haul trucking companies find it difficult to attract and retain truck drivers and you see why the best trucking companies pay top money to lure the best of truck drivers.


long haul truckingWhat is Considered Long Haul Trucking?

Long haul trucking or over-the-road (OTR) trucking involves driving a truck over long distances, often hundreds or a few thousand miles or kilometers. It is this factor that primarily differentiates long haul from short-haul truck driving.

Generally, long haulers will include dry van semi-trailers, sleeper trucks, flatbed trailers, Conestoga trailers, and tanker trailers.

If you fancy long haul trucking, it won’t really matter if it’s a dry van, reefer or flatbed. What you are sure to find is a schedule that would involve thousands of miles at a time. Truck drivers will also spend several days, weeks or even months on the road and away from home.

Long haul trucking companies understand this and so try their best to make the driver comfortable. Top trucking companies also know that it takes sacrifice for the truckers to stay on the highways. And when the driver is carrying time-critical goods, the sacrifice can even be bigger.

The truck normally has a sleeper unit and drivers take meals, change clothes or rest in the truck or at stopover centers.


What is the highest paid truck driving job?

Long haul truck drivers get paid some of the highest salaries in the job market. While pay is better compared to other drivers in the transport industry, average salaries for drivers vary with jobs, company or fleet.

Worth noting is that private fleet and unionized truck drivers earn much more than drivers who work for national companies.

For example, Walmart is a prized private fleet employer offering top money to attract and maintain drivers.

Going further, driver salaries also vary depending on the state.  Mississippi, Wyoming and New York lead the way in the U.S.


But what is the highest paid truck driving job?

  • Ice road trucker jobs- tricky roads and terrain mean drivers in this category can earn an average of $70,000. The pay can be as much as $150,000 per year.
  • Hazmat truck hauler jobs – these truck drivers haul hazardous materials and are guaranteed a good income that can exceed $120,000 annually.
  • Tanker/liquid hauling- drivers who haul tankers earn higher pay due to the dangers involved. Drivers earn as much as $110,000 annually.
  • Oversized loads haulers- some companies specialize in oversize loads and drivers need to be specially trained to navigate tricky roads. Truckers earn an average of between $53,125 and $108,000.
  • Specialty car haulers- drivers hauling expensive, vintage cars must be highly qualified and be experts. The pay is often commensurate with the high demand, with drivers earning up to $90,000.
  • Mining/dump trucks- operating massive dump trucks is going to guarantee you some good money. The average pay is $100,000 per year.
  • OTR drivers- these trucking jobs involve hauling goods from coast to coast. Landing a job as an OTR will see you earn between $53,000 and 65,000 per year.

That’s for specific trucking jobs. How about averages across the trucking industry?

A recent ATA study found that the median salary truck drivers on national, irregular routes surpassed $53,000.  Drivers who work for private fleets earn an average of $86,000. The findings are marginally higher than those by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that show truck drivers earned a median pay of $43,680 per year in 2018.

Companies are also offering new drivers incentives via generous signing bonuses that can rise to over $5,000. Other benefit packages designed to pull drivers and keep them on the roads include paid leave and health insurance. Owner-operators earn on average $184,000 per year.


long haul trucking driver restHow do Long Haul Truck Drivers Get Paid?

Long haul truck drivers get paid in a number of ways, the most common of which is by weekly/monthly salary or on an hourly basis. Most companies choose to pay via these two methods, although some have ended up paying via methods like per mile or load.

The latter refers to what we call percentile pay. It is where the income is pegged on how far the destination is (per mile) or a percentage of what the company charges per load. The rates will vary from one company to another and from location to location.

Per mile compensation varies greatly, but generally, companies pay between $0.28 and $0.40, for mileage that can range between 2000 and 3000 miles a week.

Overall, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median hourly pay for truck drivers in the U.S was $21.91 for 2018.


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freight logistics truck transportHow Much Does the Average Truck Load Pay?

If you need to find out how much each load costs, then using a free load board is your easiest option. You may find load boards that offer all the necessary details you need to determine load pay or pay per mile.

In most cases, calculations come down to an average per mile pay. Pay per load for about 1500 miles would be somewhere close to $3,500, although that can rise to over $5,000 in some places. Per mile charges in the trucking industry average $2.00-$3.50.

Is long haul trucking a good career?

A career in long haul trucking often begins with drivers getting a commercial driver’s license.

Do you need a degree to make a career in trucking? No. A relevant high school diploma and a certified CDL is all you might need to begin earning as a truck driver. Can you earn good money? Yes.

Several reasons make trucking a good opportunity for anyone looking to make good money and use their experience to further their careers in the industry. Other than being open to both men and women, being a trucker comes with several benefits.

Demand is also high, given projections that jobs in the sector will grow by 5 percent annually for the next ten years.

Are you looking to start your trucking career or are you after a new experience? Here are some reasons that make pursuing a career in trucking desirable.

  • High-income potential- an obvious reason to pursue a career in trucking
  • Travel- you get an opportunity like no other in seeing the world as you spend your days on the highways and roads across the country.
  • Be a member of a great community- trucking is like a “lifestyle” form many truck drivers and the result is a tightly knit community of truckers.
  • Job security- with demand set to rise, layoffs in the trucking industry aren’t as rampant in other sectors.
  • Benefits- advance your career in trucking and reap benefits such as health insurance, paid holidays and 401 (k). Some companies offer very lucrative retirement plans.


How many days off do truckers get?

Days off for truckers vary and mostly depend on the trucking company and any other arrangements drivers may have with the company.

But generally, truckers get between 2-4 days off, a much-needed break that comes after a driver has been on the road for between 2 to 3 weeks.

When a trucker goes off for a whole week, they usually need time off to reset and ensure they stay legal on their logs. Quite often, the driver spends the 34 hours off meant for resetting logs to zero on the road.

Sometimes the driver gets more time off, more so if the company brings in the trucker on Friday’s or Saturday.


long haul truck driverHow many hours do truck drivers sleep?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers need adequate sleep when off duty.  Over 30 percent of driver accidents are a result of fatigue due to sleep deprivation.

The FMCSA states that drivers should not be on the road for more than 11 hours if they have been off duty for 10 hours running. That, basically, means that truckers have additional time to rest or sleep. Truck drivers use these guidelines to rest at truck stops or motels.

Also importantly, drivers are urged not to drive for more than 14 hours whenever they resume driving after being off duty.

How much do regional truck drivers make?

A regional truck driver works within a specific region, or sometimes within a state. Regional truck drivers have more time to be at home and rest as compared to OTR drivers or other long haul truckers.

The average income a Regional Truck Driver takes home is as follows:

  • Hourly average: $29
  • Weekly average: $1,167
  • Monthly average: $5,057
  • Annual average: $60,680


Do truck drivers have to pay for gas?

A common practice is that truck drivers do not pay for gas or fuel they use when working. These and many other expenses are settled by the company, however, one instance that may see a truck driver pay for gas is when they engage in “out of route” driving.

When a driver pays for gas out of pocket, reimbursements and bonuses can reach $3,500 a year. It may also be that a driver is part of an arrangement called “profit-sharing”.

In such a case, the driver is likely to earn a commission when they spend on fuel. The payment can be as low as $500 or as high as $16,000.


truck driving hoursWho Are the Top 10 Trucking Companies by Size?

The top 10 biggest trucking companies primarily have their business in freight shipment via truck. Most of these companies offer global trucking services and take care of their drivers by paying top dollar.

Here is what determines a top trucking company:

  • How the company rates on Glassdoor
  • Company’s average salary for truck drivers
  • The number of people the company employs
  • Number of locations

If you want to investigate more about the best trucking companies, check out this list of the top 10.

  1. Schneider National.
  2. Werner Enterprises.
  3. JB Hunt.
  4. TMC Transportation
  5. FedEx
  6. Pitt Ohio
  7. Prime Inc.
  8. UPS
  9. Old Dominion Freight Line
  10. Con-way Truckload


freight logistics b & b logoWhat state has the most trucking companies?

Trucking companies in the U.S. number over 1 million, with each of the 50 states home to a considerable number. But which state has the most trucking companies? It has to be California with over 250, 000 trucking companies. Others in the top 5 are Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia.

Do you want to pursue a career in trucking? Find a footing by first getting the training needed to prepare you for the ‘lifestyle’.

Any questions or needs concerning long haul trucking, please call B & B Logistics at 1-877-512-0692 or contact us. We are happy to help.

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