What is Transport Logistics
Transport 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, 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.
How 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 Amazon.com 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.
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.
What 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:
- computer and computing
- economics (micro and macro)
- information systems
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.
Where 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.
Are 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.