Two substantial fuel price increases in April and in May and a recent increase at the beginning of July according to the Automobile Association (AA) are said to be the largest South African motorists have seen within such a short period. The skyrocketing fuel prices have a significant impact on the cost of living, the cost of doing business and the economy in general. With its reliance on road transportation, such rapid cost escalation is leaving a marked impact on the local supply chain industry.
Transportation as an element of logistics refers to the mode of the vehicle in which a product or person moves from point A to point B. From a logistics point of view, transport is the science of moving goods to the right place, at the right time, at the right cost. If transportation is merely the mode in which products move, is there any value in viewing it as a strategic driver of business? We think so.
A TMS (or Transport Management System) is a niche subsection of supply chain management that focuses on the optimisation of transportation. It is a system that creates and enables digital interaction between order management systems and warehouses. This integration facilitates transportation planning, execution and follow-up to enhance efficiency. A 4PL transport management model, as run by Barloworld Logistics, plans and executes distribution from multiple source locations to multiple destinations utilising multiple service providers. Transport planning and management is centralised into a supply chain centre of excellence supported by a robust technology platform managing everything from daily administration to analysing data and providing business intelligence in order to enable an environment of continuous improvement.