IN THIS CHAPTER
Choosing modes of transportation
Integrating warehousing and inventory management processes
Selecting material handling equipment
Getting help from third-party logistics providers
When was the last time you picked up an item from a grocery-store shelf and asked, “How did this get here?” Most people never ask that question at all. If they did, the answer would give them a new perspective on the importance of logistics in their own supply chains.
Take the example of a simple tub of margarine. Margarine is made from vegetable oils. This complex supply chain starts with farms that harvest the vegetables and send them by truck or train to factories for processing. The oils are processed into margarine and then packaged in small containers that are placed in larger containers, which are placed on pallets. The pallets of margarine are shipped by truck or train, in refrigerated containers, to distribution centers. Then the distribution centers break the pallets apart and send smaller amounts of the margarine to the individual stores. ...