Suitability of vessels

To carry these different types of cargo, different types of ships are used. Some vessels are specialized for the carriage of only one type of cargo, eg Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers, while others are more versatile and can accommodate a variety of cargoes − eg general cargo ships which can carry breakbulk, containers, small quantities of liquid in bulk or even livestock. This is to say that a particular type of ship is normally built to carry a particular type of cargo. Its cargo handling equipment will be about the cargo intended to be carried. Equipment and machinery fitted will be in conjunction with the vessel’s proposed use. A good example will be the amount and capacity of ballast pumps on a bulk carrier, where deballasting time is very important when loading. Any ship operator whether it is a shipowner or a charterer will be looking at the type of cargo he has to carry before buying/ building or chartering a new vessel. The suitability of the vessel is fully assessed for the particular job it is intended. If the vessel is not suitable for a particular type of cargo, then the risk of damage to the cargo is great. It could also be dangerous for the vessel to carry a cargo that is unsuitable for her. In many cases, this could render the ship unseaworthy, thus not covered by any insurance. Big damage claims might well follow. One aspect that must not be overlooked is the safety of the cargo and the vessel. The ability to fully secure the cargo on board must exist at all times. Vessels will normally incorporate securing arrangements for the type of cargo carried as part of its standard equipment. The securing equipment must be strong enough to withstand the normal perils of the voyage. This does not mean that the equipment will be fail-proof and will withstand all types of seagoing conditions. The mariner still has to exercise caution and take measures to make the voyage as safe as possible. The Cargo Securing Manual, the Rigging Plan and the stability data of the vessel will help the mariner in his job to make the voyage as safe as possible. A vessel is suitable for worldwide trading in general cargoes, dry bulk, long steel products, grain cargoes and containers. The vessel is normally equipped with cranes and/or derricks. This type of vessel is making room for more specialized vessels. Still common in some parts of the world such as the Asian sub-continent and South America. A deadweight tonnage of around 25,000t and capable of carrying more than 800 TEUS is not uncommon.

International Freight forwarders

International freight forwarders are one of the most common forms of intermediaries and are a very important link in international trade. Without a system of international freight forwarding, international trade and international transport could not function optimally. International freight forwarding is very essential as it is incorporated in the delivery and exchange of goods thus connecting production and consumption, supply and demand. As there is a wide range of services, it is rather complex to fully define them. Freight forwarders are concerned with the organizing of goods movements and providing other related services along with a chain of transport and logistics operations. This reduces the time and costs for the clients by finding solutions to the biggest complexities in international shipments and combining many small shipments into one large shipment. They take care of everything; selection of the mode of transport, the route, the payments, international shipping requirements and documentation. International freight forwarders are the most known and common type of logistics intermediary or facilitator. They appear in day-to-day logistics and freight forwarding business and their importance is negligible.
FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) introduces several different functions related to freight forwarders. It defines freight, consolidation, storage, handling, packing or distribution of the Goods as well as ancillary and advisory services in connection therewith, including but not limited to customs and fiscal matters, declaring the Goods for official purposes, procuring insurance of the Forwarding Services also include logistical services with modern information and communication technology in connection with the carriage, handling or storage of the Goods, and the total supply chain management. These services can be tailored to meet the flexible application of services provided. The main task of the international freight forwarder is to release its client of the efforts and problems of shipping, transportation and delivery of goods in international trade. Many freight forwarders expand their volume of services and activities and turn into logistics operators or integrators. Some of the freight forwarders started with a small volume of business doing a handful of activities. An emerging segment of courier, express and parcel services and contract or third party logistics. The second seems to be a natural extension to existing transport, handling and warehousing operations of freight forwarders that lead to a contract.

Key challenges in managing the supply chain

In the context of wider global trends – affect corporations of all sizes and pose threats to existing supply chain organizations. In addition, moving with the trends and incorporating their benefits requires a restructuring of operations whilst being able to maintain a competitive position in the market. Improving supply chain visibility is perceived to be the most important challenge across all industries. The interview partners stressed the following aspects of improving supply chain visibility: Identification of where and how many products are stocked, how products are being sold in different markets, how to allocate stocks to improve the service levels and reduce logistics costs, and how to reduce waste along the supply chain. Improving supply chain visibility is considered a pre-requisite to convert the supply chain into a global, integrated network. Among other topics, demand volatility, complexity management, and globalization also received equally large attention across industries, with demand volatility presenting a key challenge. Nowadays, the growing economies in developing countries like China and Brazil have empowered customers to ask for better products and services, thereby increasing pressure on manufacturers to cope with the inherent volatility of short-term customer demands. Therefore, manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to gain relevant insights into volatile markets and at the same time improve production and supply capabilities to deal with the unanticipated customer needs in a more adapted and flexible manner. Supply chains have been becoming more and more complex today. The key challenge of coping with the complexity across most industry sectors is to use innovative solutions that allow manufacturers to simplify their supply chains without limiting their capabilities to run complex processes. Here, companies are focusing on the development of global/regional process templates and the simplification of their IT landscape, based on moving away from point-based solutions towards integrated platforms and deploying innovative technologies, such as Cloud. During the last two decades, globalization has been a big discussion, affecting economies on both macro and micro levels. Here, companies deal with two key topics among others: Firstly, effective use of local sourcing as well as decentralization of production to improve flexibility, reduce lead times, and improve responsiveness, and, secondly, balancing global material flows instead of transporting only finished products taking into account worldwide product launches and regional tax issues. Among the third-tier important challenges that are shared across industries, the emergence of new business models and the need to innovate is one of the most frequently stated ones.

Logistics and Integrated supply chain management

Logistics Management and Integrated Supply Chain Management, the very product, concerning its properties and features, is of great importance. Depending on the possible range in design changes, the appropriate strategy can be selected. In case of adjustment strategy, there are few possibilities to implement changes in the product and this, in turn, determines the necessity to use the adjustment logistics management. As for conceptual strategy, it is oriented to new products and processes developed in terms of logistics, the product role is stressed and the notion of the logistically efficient product appears. Logistically efficient product is defined as a material object in market exchange characterized by a set of properties and features which enable the effective and efficient internal and external flow of the product itself and the related information in the spheres of supply, manufacturing, distribution, disposal and returns. The properties and features at the internal level allow for effective and efficient integration of IT, transport, storage, packaging, inventory management, order handling processes within the framework of an Integrated Supply Chain Management concept. Logistic product efficiency enforces an inquisitive product analysis and a selection of an appropriate strategy: conceptual or adjustment and the use of relevant methods, techniques and tools to adapt the chosen strategy to the market conditions.

Another basic element in Total Logistics Management concerns sustainable approach to logistic aspects which guarantees the right supply chain impact on the widely-understood environment. The practical aspect of sustainable development is based on integrated governance where ecological, social, land, institutional and political aspects become the superior spheres of politics and management. Therefore, a sustainable approach to logistics should be founded on two key areas: ecological supply chain optimization concentrated on the goods and information flow from the raw material acquisition to the delivery to the final client, the use of Reverse Logistic concept interpreted as the activities that are encompassed in the traditional logistics concept but the emphasis is put on their reverse operation. Therefore, it seems to accomplish the logistics ecological aspect and the use of Reverse Logistics might become one of the biggest challenges for the researchers and practitioners in the coming decades. It is important to note that nowadays the consumption goods generally are not designed in a way to facilitate future value recapturing or proper disposal of the used goods. Product designs often assume waste and strengthened consumption rather than rational management. This creates a space for the product and its total management in the Total Logistics Management concept.

Fleet Management

With the increasing number of outsourcing logistics, logistics services provider (LSP) has become an important element in the market who offers a wide range of services to customers. As an LSP, transport can be seen as one of the most important services which require the LSP to have efficient fleet management to establish a high level of customer service. Fleet Management, is a term of management of a wide range of transportation tools including cars, vans, trucks, trailers and another way of transportation like aviation, ships as well as rail cars. It is a function of overseeing, coordinates and facilitates various transport and transport-related activities, not limited in planning, supervision and control of fleet operations based on constraints, but also including operational activities like vehicle financing, maintenance, driver management, speed management, fuel management and health and safety management etc. With the use of fleet management system, the companies can reduce and minimize the overall costs by full utilization of resources such as vehicles, fuel, spare parts etc., and reduce the risk associated with vehicle investment while increasing quality of service to the customers. Fleet management can be divided into several aspects range from identifying needs, acquisition process, insurance for the vehicles, vehicle leasing (internal & external), vehicle management including fleet management systems and vehicle maintenance and upkeep to vehicle life-cycle management and health, safety & security which contains comply with legislature and security requirements as well as driver management. Due to the rapid development on the technology in sensors, communication and networking technologies, as well as a geographic information system, states the Fleet Management Systems (FMS) has evolved into complete enterprise management tools and there is a trend of turning this into planning tools. Currently, the FMS is going toward the direction of real-time or dynamic management focusing on current fleet locations and prediction of planned tasks. The autonomous (self- driving) vehicles have been taken into consideration and a possible structure called smart cyber fleet a management system which includes cyber vehicles drivers with cyber interfaces.
Fleet management when it helps reduce environmental impacts through a combination of cleaner vehicles and fuels, fuel-efficient operation and driving; and by reducing the amount of road traffic it generates is called sustainable fleet management. As such the fleet minimizes fuel and vehicle costs and improves the safety and the welfare of employees while reducing its exposure to the problems of congestion. The strategy will also help you to meet the requirements of other policies within your organization; for example, business efficiency, health and safety, equalities and inclusion, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Now the businesses are measuring and reporting the carbon emissions, including those arising from their transport activity known as Scope 3 emissions.

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