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    Sustainable Urban Transport: A Milestone Towards Achieving Climate-Neutral Global Logistics

    In a global economy, effective supply chain management is the key to success. The supply chain covers all the company's functions, from the procurement of raw materials to the manufacture and delivery of products to customers. Logistics – transportation, warehousing and distribution – is a business-critical link in this value chain. Read more about what good supply chain management consists of.

    1. What is a supply chain? 

    Supply Chain Management (SCM) means optimizing material and information flows and the entire service chain. It is a network-like way of working, where everyone, such as suppliers and logistics partners, has their own role and task. 

    The final structure and form of the supply chain is company-specific: it depends on products, industry and customers, among other things. The basic idea is always smooth cooperation and communication between all parties, thus minimizing costs and maximizing customer value. 

    Supply chain and logistics are sometimes close concepts. Logistics is usually related to the management of one company's material flows, and the supply chain covers the entire cooperation network. 

    2. Supply chain optimization 

    The development of the supply chain is a strategic success factor, i.e. how logistics is organized and how it is developed in the long term. It is also about running practical operational activities and logistics, such as transportation, warehousing and distribution. 

    The basic idea is to ensure the availability of products to customers in a cost-effective manner. It succeeds when the supply chain is approached as a whole, and not focused on filing individual elements. 

    Optimization aims, among other things, to streamline processes and shorten lead times. Important tools here are real-time information transmission and cooperation between different actors. 

    A good cooperative relationship between partners enables reliable transportation, flexible operation and cost efficiency. 

    3. Sustainable supply chain 

    Supply chains are an important part of the economy and have a major impact on the environment and society. The increase in environmental awareness affects and can be seen in the logistics chain as well. 

    With that, the industry has started talking about "green logistics", which takes sustainable development into account. One of the central ideas is to develop the transport chain so that the transport of goods places as little burden on the environment as possible. 

    Logistics service providers have many ways to minimize the environmental impact of transport. Here are just a few examples: 

    4. Supply chain resilience and risk management 

    Risk management means decisions and actions to minimize risks and the harms that result from them. Risks need to be identified and assessed in order to manage them. Despite the same principles, each supply chain is different, so the risks must also always be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

    The importance of safety and reliability of delivery is emphasized all the time. The increase in goods flows and transport volumes, as well as the reduction in the amount of storage and safety stocks, has made risk management even more important. 

    In the global world and economy, the effects of threats are reflected everywhere. Global crises such as the COVID pandemic and economic turbulence have been a tough test for the resilience of supply chains. 

    5. Transparency of the supply chain 

    Supply chain transparency requires information sharing, standardized processes and supply chain mapping. Digitization and the development of technology have made it possible to monitor goods flows even more precisely. 

    The traceability and monitoring of shipments is an important part of supply chain management. In this way, companies get better visibility through the entire chain, and they can manage it more efficiently and flexibly. Among other things, this… 

    6. Digitization in the supply chain 

    The development is moving towards digital supply chains. For example, in logistics, shipment tracking is electronic. Route planning and optimization has become more efficient when vehicles can be tracked in real time. 

    Digitization is no longer a new phenomenon, but its importance is growing all the time. Technology has enabled new types of business models, and it has also revolutionized supply chain management. 

    In logistics, new technology has been utilized, for example, in forecasting demand, optimizing and automating processes, and managing deviations. In this way, among other things, 1) delivery of goods can be made more efficient, 2) load levels of transports can be increased and 3) customer service can be improved. 

    7. Globalization and international supply chains 

    Globalization has expanded supply chains. It has made them increasingly international, as companies have moved production and other operations abroad. The concentration of production has increased transportation needs. 

    The benefits are significant: more versatile procurement options, wider markets and economies of scale. As supply chains have become longer, the importance of international trade regulations and risk management has been emphasized. 

    The management of the international supply chain requires the optimization and development of transportation, storage and distribution. When the market area is the whole world, it is even more important that the products are in the right place at the right time. 

    8. Lean supply chain 

    A lean supply chain is fundamentally a well-functioning supply chain: goods or products are delivered to the customer as efficiently and flexibly as possible. It means as little waste and wastage as possible along the way. 

    In logistics, lean thinking means planning the supply chain in such a way as to avoid wasting resources, i.e. to be as efficient as possible. Another key goal is to increase the flexibility of the delivery process. 

    Lean thinking focuses on minimizing waste, optimizing efficiency and maximizing value in logistics. Agile methods prioritize adaptability and responsiveness to rapidly changing markets. 

    Together, lean and agile approaches create a supply chain that can quickly respond to customer needs and shorten delivery times. 

    9. Choose a reliable logistics partner 

    Logistics service providers (LSP) offer services such as transportation, forwarding and warehousing, but also outsourcing the entire logistics process. Currently, the trend is towards comprehensive logistics outsourcing, which covers everything from planning and management to implementation 

    Logistics should be implemented on a one-stop-shop basis, in which case you only need to communicate with one service provider. This highlights the importance of choosing the right logistics partner. Choose a reliable transport partner whose high-quality and efficient service network covers the whole world. 

    Get to know DB Schenker's services 

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