In-bound logistics:

One of the issues in delivery (and production) is the use of just-in-time (JIT) practice. This practice is meant to reduce inventory, thus eliminating costs and waste. For example, less storage and warehouse space is needed. This practice reduces the necessary overhead and resource consumption needed to manage this inventory. Thus, JIT seems to be an environmentally sound practice, yet when considered on the whole, the environmental savings can be deceptive. For example, the major method to lessen the amount of inventory is to deliver and produce in small batches. These smaller batches mean more deliveries, thus raising fuel consumption and traffic congestion. Investigation of these tradeoff’s are necessary. But some of these issues are mitigated with such practices as on-site suppliers or those that are in close proximity for JIT reasons. Another factor related to JIT and supplier management is that fewer suppliers are usually used in a JIT environment. This means better forecasting and fuller loads could be planned. Of course this delivery approach will be dependent on demand levels and characteristics.

One is freight consolidation. Waiting for freight to become a full load may lead to longer lead times but may yield savings and be environmentally preferable. Another issue is mode selection. Some transport modes like rail and barge use less energy or use energy more efficiently than other modes like road haulage and air cargo. In this case, flexibility, timing and speed are tradeoffs to cost and environmental factors. The transport mode decision determines which transport option to use and often affects traffic congestion and air pollution both directly and indirectly. Carrier selection, a part of supplier selection, is an important in-bound logistics decision. Transportation is important to all industries. As an example, the Chemical Manufacturers Association cited Roadway Express, a major carrier, as a responsive care partner in hauling chemicals.

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Tue, 12/04/2011 - 15:00