Businesses in the USA are spending increasingly more on warehousing and transportation as the demand and prices for logistics services are increasing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite being historically associated with military operations, logistics is globally recognized as a complex process that all industries, including the packaging industry, require in order to manage their supply chains effectively. Managing the logistics of a company adequately makes it significantly easier to meet the demands of customers while helping the company to improve client service and reduce costs. There are a number of basic elements, including the following that form part of a typical logistical support system.
Packaging and Handling
One of the most important components of logistics revolves around the care and condition of a product. The purpose of this is to ensure that all equipment, systems, and support items are adequately preserved and handled. Among the factors that need to be considered are those relating to packaging supplies environmental aspects, container loading, and ultimate transportability. Unitization is an important aspect of packaging as products are easier to move if they are all uniform in shape and size. It is for this reason that most products are packed in a cube shape. When it comes to industrial products, however, it may be somewhat more difficult to maintain uniform packaging as many items can’t be conveniently boxed or crated.
Maintenance and repair
Maintenance analysis and planning recognizes all the necessary maintenance and repair elements of operational equipment. In order for all equipment to function as intended, regular maintenance needs to be carried out. Many important components are included in the maintenance and repair category including spare parts, specialized consumables, oils and lubricants, and repairable units. The exact inventory that is kept on-site will differ greatly from industry to industry. Food and beverage manufacturing concerns will, for example, make provision for the repair of rinsing machines, liquid fillers, and capping machines. Packaging operations are a lot different in the logging industry, however, where log baggers and skid loaders are commonly used. Here, you can expect to find anything from tracks for cat skid loaders to industrial lubricants in the inventory.
Inventory and Transportation
Another important element of logistic management involves inventory and transport. Inventory is very closely linked to warehousing and storage and is ultimately concerned with what type of stock is held, what quantity is held, and where it is located. Although inventory management in the packaging industry is not an exact science it can be a very useful tool to help manage the flow of goods. Transport plays a central role in packaging logistics and includes all forms of transport including road vehicles, air transport, freight trains, and cargo ships. The distance a consumer product has to travel will have a direct influence on the packaging used and needs to be considered carefully. This is why food items with a short supply chain will be packaged very differently to electronic components that have to travel half-way around the world.
Logistics management tracks and schedules numerous operational mechanisms. Although complex, logistics can be managed effectively through careful planning and implementation.