What is Transportation and Logistics Management ? and Are They the Same Thing?

According to Wikipedia, transportation is defined as the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important since it enables trade between people, which in turn establishes civilizations.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) defines logistics as the process of planning, implementing, and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective transportation and storage of goods including services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements. This definition includes inbound, outbound, internal, and external movements.

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After Asking “What is Transportation and Logistics Management?” Do you Think They are the Same Thing?

If you have read the above academic definitions, you will see that that after Asking “What is Transportation and Logistics Management” it seems rather easy to see the difference between the two. Transportation is the driver of logistics, but logistics is the race car driver in the seat of transportation. In fact, it’s easy to see from that sentence alone, the pure difference. Logistics requires planning, transportation is just the mode to execute the planning, when getting freight from point A to point B. Clearly, they are not the same thing, but transportation is just simply a part of logistics. When it comes to logistics, logistics executives must make further decisions beyond the mode of transportation to include:

  • Packaging
  • Containerization
  • Documentation
  • Insurance
  • Storage
  • Importing and Exporting Regulations
  • Freight Damage Claims
  • Working & collaborating with other executives within the supply chain
  • Managing vendors and partners
  • Responsible for mitigating risk and mitigating expenditure

    This is another reason it is vital within the logistics departments of both small and large businesses, that executives don’t see software, such as transportation management system software, as the end all be all of logistics management. TMS software is helpful, but as you can see, beyond transportation procurement and management via software, there are many things a logistics executive faces. Often, outsourcing logistics to an expert provider, who can not only offer software, such as a transportation management system, but also integrated services to deal with accounting, claims, and building custom inbound freight programswill allow logistics executives to have more meaningful collaborations with others in the supply chain and company at large. Rather than focusing on all of the details and complexity of both transportation and logistics management, it allows the logistics executive to really focus on results and strategy for further optimization, as opposed to tactics. When you can focus on results, and have a trusted partner help you, often both hard and soft costs savings are realized at a much more efficient and quicker pace.

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