Global Transport and Logistics

Transport and logistics from around the world.

Month: April 2016

Transport Demand and Supply

There are five (5) transport modes and main purpose of each of them is to give support to mobility. This explains why mobility is important in our daily activities. Mobility and transport infrastructure are closely related; hence, without mobility, transport infrastructure will be useless and without transport infrastructure; mobility will be difficult if not possible. However, this interdependency between mobility and transport infrastructure is associated to two (2) concepts in transport which are transport demand and supply. Transportation can be referred to as a market that involves two parties which are: the suppliers of transport services and the users of these services, therefore, the demand and the supply of transport is inevitable in transport market. In addition, for transport market to function very well, transport demand must be met, so as to satisfy transport needs for mobility. In transportation market, transport companies or individual transport provider offers transport services to transport users who require such services, often on open markets. Nevertheless, the transport users pay for the services delivered according to the journey of the agreed contract. What is transport demand? Transport demand occurs when a transport user is willing and able to pay a transport fare or particular amount of money based on the two parties’ agreement for a specific transport service. It is also refers to how much of a transport service is desired by transport users at various transport fares (price). Nevertheless, transport demand can be measured in numbers of journey made. Factors influencing transport demand Movement of people and good occur for different reasons at different times. There are several factors that influence the demand for transport mode such factors can be grouped into three (3) categories; they are:
  1. Personal characteristics
  2. Trip characteristics
  3. Transport system
Personal characteristics Transport demand can be influenced by demographic group of people such as age, old, gender etc. It also includes socio-economics, personal reference and so on. Trip characteristics Transport demand can be influenced by the number of people going to their place of work, people visiting tourist and recreation centers; education; shopping and so on, are all factors that can affect the demand for transportation. Transport system Transportation system is another factor that can influence transport demand. This include available travel routes, available transport mode, road and transit network, cost of travel, transport fare, travel condition, auto operating cost, reliability of service, to mention but a few. What is Transport Supply? Transport supply is the amount of transport services a transport company or individual transport provider is able to provide at a particular given time and on agreed fare (cost). Factors influencing transport supply
  1. Types and characteristics of goods
The bulk, the weight and the value of goods may determine the mode and kind of transport needed for particular goods.
  1. The Cost of freight
  2. The origin and destination of goods and available transport
  3. The distance of the journey: e.g. Inter-regional, Trans Ocean, Continent etc.
  4. Urgency and reliability of delivery, convenience, efficiency of travel, including modal transfer.
In conclusion, it is important to note that transport system behavior is always according to transport demand and supply that can be influenced by cost variation.    

Transport Planning

Plan as a word is a method formed by a person or group of people to achieve particular goals and objectives. Therefore, planning means the act or process of carrying out plans to achieve goals and objectives in different areas e.g. in Business. (Industrial planning) in transport (Transport planning), etc What is transport planning? In 2006, the transport planning society defined the key purpose of transport planning as: – to plan, design, deliver, manage and review transport, balancing the needs of society, the economy and the environment. From the above definition it means transport planner have a great work or duty to perform. It is important to examine them one after the other for better understanding.
  • Transport planners have to plan:
To achieve a good success in any area of endeavour, there must be a good plan. If not success may be a mirage or day dream. Hence, the saying, any one that fails to plan, plan to fail. This explains why planning in transport is evitable. Transport manager must be a good transport planner.      Transport planners have to design: To plan is not enough if the transport planner(s) has no will power to execute according to the transport plan. Transport planners must have ambitions to design transport policy or program for the benefit of everyone in the society. For instance, transport discrimination with emphasis on road transport against vulnerable groups in the society such as the poor, the elderly and the disabled must be eradicated by a good transport plan designed for such vulnerable groups in the society. More so, necessary transport project, systems and services must not be left out when making transport planning for the society. Transport planners have to deliver: Transport planners also have the responsibility to deliver good transport services to the society. When a transport plan is made to achieve a transport aim and objectives and when good transport design is made in terms of transport policies and programmers to address transport problems in the society, hence, all these activities or steps must produce a desired or expected result. Otherwise, transport planning will be meaningless. Transport planners have to manage and review transport: Before any organization can achieve its aim and objective, the available resources must be carefully and adequately managed. In the same vain, if the purpose of transport planning must be achieved available transport resources must be adequately managed by the transport planners. In addition, the act of view or see again on how to improve the existing transport system and infrastructure cannot be overlooked as a vital responsibility of transport planners. Therefore, there is need to evaluate and re-examine transport regulatory policies and programmes for the benefit of transport users. More so, there is an urgent need to review transport system most especially in Africa to accommodate the vulnerable people such as old people, disable, and children. Transport planners have to balance the needs of the society, the economic and the environment: Transport planners also have a great responsibility to create transport regulatory policies, strategies and plans that contribute to meeting social, economic and environment needs. For instance, transport plan to support green environment is a vital plan and benefit of society at large. Transport planners have to play a technical and coordinating role to the government: Since politicians also have their own way of addressing issues or problems, hence transport planners are expected to provide better transport information to decision makers such that politicians can make a good decision that will produce a good transport result for the society at large. Nevertheless, when there is any problem a society face, there must be a plan to address such a social problem. However, when you consider transport problems and issues that a particular society are facing and what goals and objectives can be used to address transport issues or problems then the need for transport planning becomes inevitable in this regards.  

Freight Management

Freight management is the management of a company’s freight. It is a management system that specializes in movement of freight or goods from one place to another. Freight management can be carried out in both international level and domestic level. It is international when goods are moved from one country to another country and it is domestic when goods are moved from one place to another within the same country. Any freight management company relies majorly on transport to carry out their businesses. In freight management, proper decision must be taken in order to determine the mode of transport that is appropriate for a particular freight. However, there are 3 factors that must be considered before a freight management department or company decides on a types of mode needed for a particular freight. The factors are:-
  1. Time factor
  2. Cost factor
  • Product factor
It is important to note that freight management cost is used to save business time and money in the entire freight operations. It is possible that transportation alone may account for almost 50% of an average company’s cost if not properly checked. This explains why freight management is important to an organization; it helps to keep freight cost lower for an organization which directly affects the bottom line and the price paid by all customers for a particular goods or supply. In fact, freight management appears to be a strategic system an organization needs to optimize the efficiency of freight and commercial transport. Benefits of freight management The benefits of freight management to an organization cannot be overemphasized. Such benefits among others include:
  • It enables the organization to increase profitability.
  • It enables the organization to increase production.
  • It gives administrative support to an organization
  • It gives better inventory management; lower inventory level and reduce carrying costs.
  • It improves on-time delivery.
  • Proper material handling; less damage and supports efficient receiving.
  • It gives immediate notification of any disruption.
  • It gives customers satisfaction.
  • It improves the company reliability.
  • It uses mode of transport more efficiently with economic value and goals in view.
  • It protects the good from damage during transportation.
However, poor management of company’s product or goods brings a great loss to the organization. I have seen many products of an organization that suffered heavy damage in transits due to poor transportation and bad road. Proper freight management will definitely reduce this high risk because success of freight management is linked to the efficient use of transportation. Nonetheless, since the essence of freight management is to increase efficiency, reliability and to minimize freight cost. Hence, it will not be understatement to say that freight management is inevitable to any manufacturing company.  

15 Top Benefits of Using Fleet Managements System

Fleet management system has to do with proper management of an organization’s vehicle fleet. Any organization that has fleet of vehicles and that actually rely on them to carry out their daily operations needs proper vehicle management system such a system is GPS fleet management system. It is a system that helps the organization to locate their vehicles at any time, boosting their productivity, increase drive accountability and reduce fuel usage. In fact, fleet management system can help to reduce vehicles breakdowns. However, here below are the benefits of GPS fleet management system.
  • It keeps the vehicle on the road through preventive maintenance: One of the important benefits of GPS fleet management is that it helps the organization to avoid costly down time. Every hour that any organization’s vehicle is out of operation is a big loss to the company. This explains why GPS fleet management is important to any organization that has fleet of vehicles. However, through GPS fleet management a fleet manager can receive text messages or e-mail to remind him when the vehicles are due for preventive maintenance. Early good maintenance enables the company to offer just-in-time delivery services to their prospective customers.
  • GPS fleet management reduces maintenance costs through early detections: When a technical fault or mechanical fault is detected early enough, this will help the fleet manager to address such little problem ahead of time before it becomes a big problem or lead to many other problems. This is what GPS fleet management does for you. Instead of you to depend on your drivers to give you information when the alignments are not okay or when the gears are not working properly etc.GPS fleet management system will give you reliable information on the condition of your vehicles how? The system will notify you through email or text message; if the onboard diagnostic code is activated. You will receive diagnostic trouble codes (DTCS) that will identify specific problems of the vehicles. This will surely helps the fleet manager to know exact problems that must be addressed and to make a reasonable decision early enough on the costs in order to avoid unwanted downtime. Once you know what to be fixed, I think it is better in that way than relying on a mechanic to tell you.
  • It also helps you to monitor your vehicles at any location: GPS fleet management system, also help you to locate your vehicles at any time, hence if there’s a transport demand in a particular area; the fleet manager will have first hand information on the locations of their vehicles and he can assign the close vehicles to carry out the job.
  • It leads to profit maximization: Through the helps of GPS fleet management system fleet operation cost can be reduced. For instance the system can reduce the no of staff, over time costs, maintenance costs, prevent down time etc. all these benefits will helps a company to maximize profits.
  • It enhances performances: Since vehicles location can be monitored and the diver whereabouts can be known through GPS, it will enable the manager to plan on how better to assign job to each according to the location between the vehicle and the assignment. This will enable the company to offer quick service delivery.
In addition, when the drives are aware that their whereabouts are known to their superior officer they become more responsible and diligent in their assignments. In other words, it gives room for accountability and efficiency.
  • It reduces fuel usage and co2 emission with GPS tracking system: Drivers will find it difficult to take the company’s vehicle to an unauthorized location or journey. This will control the unnecessary fuel waste. More so, since unnecessary journey or idling can be eliminated through GPS tracking system, this will surely reduce the amount of carbon emission into the air.
  • It is used to check unauthorized use of company vehicle: With the help of GPS fleet management. It will be very difficult if not impossible for any driver to use the company’s vehicles for personal gain.
  • It enhances safety: Proper maintenance of vehicle through the helps of GPS will boost the safety of the vehicle and the drivers. When a vehicle is in good condition it will make the road safer for all the road users. More so, where there’s need for emergency GPS location data can be used to contact the nearest emergency unit for assistance.
  • Customer service: With GPS real-time vehicles tracking data may be used to confirm driver delivery and the time spent. Goods can also be monitored in transits just to ensure that customer goods are delivered in time.
  • It reduces insurance costs and liability: When the company’s fleet are in good condition and the driver’s behavior can also be checked. This will reduce the accidents rate.
  • It discourages robbery/stealing: Installation of GPS device gives you opportunity to know your vehicle’s location any time, therefore, when a thief knows that the location of the vehicles he steals is known he will think twice before he steals and even if it is stolen, you will not have any problem to locate your vehicle.
  • It reduces a lot of paper work and also prevent unnecessary mistake that may occur due to lot of paper work. GPS has automated features that save time and it is also reliable.
  • It can give higher resale value: One of the benefits of GPS fleet management system is that, it can give detail information on the condition of the vehicle. In other words, it can detect any technical fault early enough and this will help a good manager to ensure that each vehicle that has technical problems is in good condition as early as possible. This will prolong the life cycle of the vehicle and to make such vehicle to have higher resale value.
  • Reduction in overhead costs: Since, it is a known fact that GPS fleet management system can reduce maintenance cost; in the same vein GPS fleet management system cause reduction in overhead costs. The direct costs and indirect cost of managing fleet of vehicles including administrative staff, fuel usage, maintenance costs, among others are reduced with the use of GPS fleet management system.
  • It prolong the life cycle of equipment: Proper fleet maintenance procedures play an important role to prolong life expectancy of equipment. For instance, if a useful life of an equipment is 12-year, poor maintenance of an equipment may reduce the expectancy to 8-year.
Since, GPS fleet management system has huge benefits, then it will be better and reasonable if organization that has fleet of vehicles or offers transport services to the public use this system in order to enhance their smooth transport operations.  

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