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The Role of Transportation in Logistic Management and Its Development

Transportation involves the delivery of goods and services to destinations while logistical management concern with closing the loops between events to achieve the desired results. Tseng, Taylor & Yue (2005) explain that a close nexus exists between logistical management and transportation during their research that includes other reviews, the nature of transport operations in logistics activities. Giannopoulos (2009) explains concerning challenges facing transportation operations in urban settings will mainly need logistical redress among its interventions. Their views converge on the need to develop logistical technologies that can be integrated with solving traffic flow.

For instance, Giannopoulos (2009) suggests that systems should have guiding functions as well as navigation. This is not to mean that logistics are the influencing factor on transportation but their relationship should be seen as a two-way one since some of the transportation elements are imperative for the logistics systems to be complete. Tseng, Taylor, & Yue, (2005) argue that however robust a logistics strategy is, in the absence of transportation it cannot achieve its capacity. Cintron (2009) argues that the harmony in transport and logistics in Chile has transformed positively their performance (4).

The art and science of logistics trace their roots in the military spheres but due to the growth in production sectors, the concept was later borrowed and integrated to meet the growing demands. According to Tseng, Taylor, & Yue, (2005) logistics in trade came about in the establishment of a trade-off concerning costs incurred due to the inventory requirements while running day-to-day transportation services.

Transportation is meant to move products from one point to another and offer timely and regional efficacy which promotes value-added in the least cost principle. Due to the nexus existing between transport and logistics, it affects the marketing aspects of the produced goods. Thus, in logistics, transportation costs imply market constraints that need to be prevented or else addressed once they are encountered along with the systems.

Developments in the Logistics.
Figure1: Showing developments in the Logistics.

By 1950, industrial sectors concentrated on how to maximize output capacities in their production processes. Much of these industrial players never paid closer attention to developing logistics management, until the following decade (Tseng, Taylor, & Yue, 2005). In the years between 1950 towards 1960, logistics was a conceived thought that needed to distribute what had been produced, presumably resulting from their bulky production activities. Then the business concept took off as a result of this development. Logistics management has improved greatly in the present world and it is different from what it used to be in the past. (Marcela, 2009).

Technological advancement has ensured that production is not only focused on maximizing output but also the delivery of product shipments to remote consumers. The transport sector has undergone a paradigm shift by using information technology systems that support efficiency, especially where shipments are destined to remote locations. Over and above, competition in the transportation industry has led to the emergence of new sophisticated technologies in the bid to ensure services rendered remain on the competitive edge.

Giannopoulos (2009) states some of the tools in information technology that have been used to include: mobile messaging, either text or voice communication; global Positioning systems via communication with many satellites orbiting in space to a remote GPS receiver, this communication can enable one to track the bearing a consignment is being shipped; internet tracking via a wireless mobile or a portable PC and use of XML standard.

According to Creswell (2008), more qualitative approaches have been established and used regarding logistical costs issues. Through qualitative studies, International Monetary Fund has cost out the worth of the logistical costs to an annual average of 12 percent of the global gross domestic product, while US logistics costs are worth 4 percent of their GDP (Cambridge International College, n.d.). Further qualitative analysis according to Tseng, Taylor, & Yue, (2005), on average transportation, has the highest cost of logistics and order making up a third. The transportation cost is meant to cover means of shipping from one point to a destination, route networks, shipment vessels, pallets, terminals, and the use of manual power.

The spread of industrialization relies on standards of logistic growth and the associated costs as companies brace themselves to supply the whole world with their products. Then at such a multinational level, they will be served by a higher advanced logistical system.

According to Cambridge International College, the high population numbers coupled with the growth in the economies is bringing to limelight concerns on environment care. Large economies have a high affinity for resources such as energy while releasing massive wastes (exhaust gasses). For instance, the United States and China command two-fifth of global energy and consequently produce half of the global greenhouse gasses (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). This has led to the birth of green technology in the industries; these technologies are meant to have a minimum environmental impact as they minimize waste, are less polluting, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and use renewable energy resources (Murphy, Poist & Braunschwieg, 1994).

This is geared towards reversing aspects of climate change; climate change factors are at most influencing intervention outcomes. These are deterministic philosophies (Creswell, 2008, 7). For instance, China whose infrastructure is in preliminary stages seeks to factor in sustainable development concepts (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). The prevailing circumstances in the environment have led to increasing options in the logistics operations and the way operations are undertaken, with target environment policies that care for the society more than economic progress.

Environment research concerns incorporated policy ends that form national central issues, such as the political agenda (Creswell, 2008, 9). The United States for instance has prioritized the substitution of crude oils as vehicular fuels and improves their efficiency (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). It’s quite evident economic growth is coming at the expense environment; yet the economic growth path translates to better living standards (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008).

The economic growth path has come with at the expense of the environment; growth sectors (transport and logistics management) should mind the environment (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). The types of logistic operations include use of the reverse logistics in service delivery to customers and in promoting recycling activities. Third-party logistics industries benefit from the new market.

The ocean carriers transit international freights from coast to coast and they transport heavy cargo over a long distance at fair costs. Airfreight logistics are disliked for their relatively higher fee cost but are preferred for their fast speed delivery, regular operations, and safer haulage of fragile consignment. Land logistics extends onto seaport operations as well as airports while E-commerce focuses on spatial coverage, global or regional as well as integration of desired industrial practices. Express logistics and city logistics are applied in an urban setting, which is prone to the increasing population pressure and traffic volumes (Tseng, Taylor, & Yue, 2005 and Giannopoulos (2009).

In conclusion, since transportation has the highest proportion of the cost to the elements in logistics systems, better practices in the transport sector should translate to a positive contribution to the growth of logistics. Both should work simultaneously and harmoniously or at least one should pace the other. Conventionally, transportation should be at the vanguards always. Constant screening of the logistics from an integrated and holistic view while applying different approaches to be able to continuously close loops recurring while maximizing the benefits from systems that are rather efficient.

This means that when considering transport systems and techniques every logistical aspect should respectively be checked. In this way, concerns raised on the role of the transportation sector in the environment concerning pollution are addressed concertedly. China is moving in this direction by developing a sustainable transportation system (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008).


Atlantic Council of the United States. 2008. U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean and Efficient Transportation. CIAO. Web.

Cambridge International College. (n.d.). Some tips on achieving high marks in your final examination. Web.

Creswell, J. (2008). Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Giannopoulos, G. (2009). Towards a European its for freight transport and logistics: results of current EU funded research and prospects for the future, Vol. 1. Web.

Marcela, C. (2009). Logistics and Transportation Investment and Opportunities. Web.

Murphy, P. R, Poist, R. F. & Braunschwieg, C. D. (1994). Management of environmental issues in logistics: current status and future potential. Web.

Tseng, Y. Taylor, M.A.P. & Yue, W. L. (2005). The Role of Transportation in Logistics Chain. Proceedings of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol. 5. Web.


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