Women in logistics

Gender inequality is commonly seen in different areas of education. Though gender inequality affects girls and boys, women and men alike, girls and women are still more often disadvantaged. The same has been seen in maritime and logistics education. Some time back the maritime and logistics industry particularly the shipping sector in Sri Lanka were perceived as industries that generate employments for males rather than females. Of course one cannot deny the fact that certain social and cultural factors in the country do not act in favour of women engaging in operational activities related to various transport and logistics industry. Factors affecting female participation in education are geographical, socio-cultural, health, economic, religious, legal, political/administrative, and educational and initiatives. However, this phobia has gradually eased with shipping and logistics jobs proved to be more academic or professional centric than the skilled or technical centre in the past. Technology plays a major role in this evolution and globalization helps us to see through what is happening in the transport and logistics industry overseas. The awareness of many opportunities available for women and the fact that many females have developed successful carriers in the transport and Logistics industry created confidence among women. On the other hand, most of the staff in the maritime education and training institutes are recruited because of their maritime experience and qualifications. It need not be a permanent work in the offshore. The discrimination based on gender is an example of social exclusion that has a considerable negative impact on the competitiveness of a nation. As such the international community has made significant progress in defining inclusive growth. However, following a comprehensive and more actionable framework remains an ongoing challenge. Making a country naval, aviation and commercial hubs are relevant to the cross-border movement of goods, services and people. In this scenario, equal gender participation makes sense. According to World Economic Forum, promoting gender parity is one of the key areas of this initial framework which will be used as a point of departure for a series of policy dialogues among policymakers, business leaders, and other opinion shapers. As such it is noted that gender parity is equally fundamental to whether and how societies thrive. The maritime sector is not popular in tertiary education in many countries like management, computing, marketing, banking, accounting and engineering subject.

Multimodal Transport system

Every mode of transport has its strengths and weakness in absolute as well as relative terms. These strengths and limitations put challenges and opportunities before surviving and growing in a competitive environment. Furthermore, challenges before the transportation industry have further been intricate in the last two decades, mainly due to growing awareness about the alluring contribution of logistics and supply chain management for sustainable growth of the corporate enterprises. That is why after realizing their limited strengths and emerging challenges, various modes of transport have started cooperating to pool their recourses and facilities to have a win-win in the situation to all while meeting the service expectation of their customers. The beginning of the state of the art transport technology has given the impetus to the concept of multi-modal transportation, emphasizing the coordination of two or more modes to transport. The multimodal transport system has been defined as the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport based on a multi-modal transport contract from one country to another country. Multimodal describes a shipment that takes several different means of transportation – road, rail, ocean, air, – from its point of departure to its point of destination. In Multimodal transport system, one transport document, and one rate and through liability are used. Multimodal transport, an old concept is a term used to describe the linking of transport responsibilities, documentation and liability in the movement of goods (by land, sea, and air) using the existing infrastructure. This linking results in improved transport efficiency and provides the user with a single point of responsibility and greater cost transparency The ultimate aim of multi- modalism is to enable faster movement of goods from the seller to buy more efficient through faster transit at reduced costs. Multimodal transport brings benefits by enabling exports to be placed in the market places of the world at a reduced cost and so be more competitive. Likewise, costs associated with imports will be reduced thus leading to reduced foreign exchange outflow and cheaper imported goods, Multi-modalism is all about:

 Coordination of the different modes of transport

 Coordination of documentation

 Coordination of the commercial and physical aspects of the commercial transaction between the buyer and the seller.

Thus multi-modal/ intermodal transportation is the use of more than one mode of transport for the movement of shipment from the origin to its destination. Intermodal systems are joint, point to point through transportation services involving two or more modes regularly. In this system, intermodal operators use multiple modes of transport to take advantage of the inherent economies of each and thus provide integrated service at the lowest total cost.

Supply chain efficiency measurement

Supply chains are complex systems composed of many interrelated and conditioned processes. Supply chains and similarly complex systems and processes are viewed as “black boxes” for a long time. Their structure and operating are not considered properly. For a successful efficiency evaluation of supply chains, it is necessary to measure the performances of all participants in the chain, including suppliers, manufacturers, traders and end-users. The efficiency of independent participants in the supply chain is measured using the DEA method. However, the number of papers that analyze the efficiency of supply chains is very small. Measuring the efficiency of supply chains has been recognized as a problem of measuring the efficiency of multi-stage processes. The DEA models are categorized into four categories: standard DEA approach; efficiency decomposition approach; network DEA approach; game-theoretic approach. The Supply chain member uses its own strategy for achieving efficiency. Sometimes, due to possible conflicts be-tween supply chain members, one member’s inefficiency may be caused by another’s efficient operations. The supplier can increase the price of raw materials to enhance its revenue and to achieve an efficient performance. This increased revenue means increased cost to the manufacturer. The manufacturer may become inefficient if it does not adjust its current operating policy. Measuring supply chain performance becomes a difficult and challenging task because of the need to deal with the multiple performance measures related to the supply chain members and the need to integrate and coordinate the performance of those members. Two hurdles are present in measuring the performance of supply chains. One is the existence of multiple measures that characterize the performance of each member in a supply chain. There may be the existence of conflicts between supply chain members with respect to specific measures. The problem of input and output classification creates a problem in supply chain efficiency measuring. Some measures linked to related supply chain members cannot be simply classified as “outputs” or “inputs” of the supply chain. For example, the supplier’s revenue is not only an output of the supplier (the supplier wishes to maximize it) but also an input to the manufacturer (the manufacturer wishes to minimize it). Simply minimizing the total supply chain cost or maximizing the total supply chain revenue (profit) does not model and solve the conflicts. Therefore, the meaning of supply chain efficiency needs to be carefully defined and studied. The models must measure the efficiency of a supply chain as well as supply chain members. The DEA approach uses two separate DEA runs for two supply chain members and calculates independent efficiency for each member and does not treat common measure in a coordinated manner.

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.

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