Shipping logistics is a complex topic with endless jargon to master. This article will give you an introduction to the basics of shipping logistics and how they can be used in your business or career.
What is Logistics?
Shipping logistics refers to the process of moving goods or products involved with transportation between countries, which includes addressing, storing, packing, and delivering them. These industries are often grouped by proximity, like the UPS and FedEx companies.
Shipping logistics within a country are often referred to as freight shipping. Freight shipping involves moving goods from one location to another, from a manufacturer to a wholesaler or retailer.
What Does a Shipping Logistics Company Do?
A shipping logistics company is any company that provides shipping and freight services to other companies. The company may have branches in multiple locations, and they may own the means of transportation that they use, or they may provide the transportation services to their clients. This is a vast field with thousands of companies competing for contracts.
It’s a booming industry with constant innovation and regularly implemented technology changes.
What about the “Last Mile?”
Last-mile logistics is the term used to describe goods from a logistics hub to the final destination. This can range from home delivery for a product purchased online to shipping goods between branches in a multi-location company.
However, several challenges might arise during this stage. Some common challenges of last mile logistics include:
- If the last mile is too far from the start point, it’s difficult for the customer to know where their delivery is, which could cause them to lose their package. While this can be prevented by keeping customers informed or by using a tracking service, it still may not be enough to prevent customers from becoming frustrated.
- The last miles must be safe. Many risks come with shipping goods, such as theft, being damaged in transit (especially during international shipments), and customs fees. Tracking and delivery confirmation should be available at the final destination.
Types of Logistic Services
There are three main types of logistics services: freight shipping, trucking, and warehousing & distribution.
1. Freight Shipping
Freight shipping involves moving goods from one location to another. Freight shipping companies are often in competition with each other for contracts with large companies. The goal is to move the goods as quickly and cheaply as possible from the manufacturing plant to the warehouse or retail store.
The most common type of freight shipping is done by truck. Still, some businesses specialize in international shipping and ocean freight delivery services, like United Oceans Services Incorporated (UOS) that delivers international freight by sea to ports across the globe.
While most goods are moved by truck, some goods require faster transportation like engines and construction machinery. These items need to be transported by plane to reach their destination. Even though freight piece goods are delivered point-to-point, they can become part of a more extensive logistics system that involves drop shipping.
Trucking involves moving goods from one location to another with trucks. These trucks may be owned and operated by the company or contracted by a carrier like a rail company or United States Postal Service (USPS). Carriers offer advantages in speed and space and competitive prices for shipping services from Quicksilver Logistics LLC. Trucking companies can specialize in specific areas, e.g., food distribution, retail, or healthcare goods.
3. Warehousing and Distribution
Warehousing and distribution involve storing goods ready for distribution to the final destination. A specialized shipping logistics company often provides warehousing services.
Warehousing is an integral part of the freight logistics process as it can allow for delivery to multiple points from a single location. The warehouse operator will often store goods from several companies in a single facility and then ship them to various destinations. As a result, freight shipping costs are shared among different companies, and smaller shipments are more economically shipped than individual ones.
The shipping logistics company can run warehouses or work with third-party storage facilities that charge rental fees on behalf of the customer.
Shipping logistics is a massive industry with many different companies operating in the field. While freight shipping can be coincidental to shipping goods domestically, international and cross-country deliveries require careful planning to ensure that the goods are delivered on time and are not damaged or stolen.