Distribution logistics is in charge of managing the entire phase that goes from when the product is finished until it reaches its recipient.
Basically, distribution logistics carry out the necessary process that makes it possible for the final product to reach its destination. The destination can be another company, a store or the final consumer.
It is common to limit the concept of distribution logistics to transportation. While it is true that it is a fundamental part of the distribution, it is not the only one. Moreover, it is even common to confuse the concept of distribution logistics with that of logistics. Sometimes the term logistics is referred to as if it were only the distribution part. Distribution is a part of the whole.
Distribution logistics functions
Depending on the final recipient of this phase, the logistics will have different characteristics. However, in general, distribution logistics performs the following functions:
Packaging type and size
In supply logistics, it is our company that receives merchandise from suppliers. In this order we demand a series of requirements such as cost, term and quality.
Now, in the distribution phase, we become suppliers to our clients. Therefore, it makes sense to take into account everything that they are going to demand of us. In this line, one of the requirements will be that it arrives in good condition. For this, it is essential that the type of packaging and the size is appropriate to the product.
Although the size of a screw and a ring are similar, we can imagine that it does not make sense to pack them in the same way. Each product requires different needs.
Vehicles in which it is transported
In relation to packaging and its characteristics, we must think about the type of vehicles that will transport the merchandise. On the one hand, study the speed, versatility and size of transport. And, on the other, see the specific characteristics of each one.
In this sense, two examples should be cited. In the first one, suppose we are going to transport ice cream. We cannot take them in any vehicle, the vehicle must integrate a cold room. In the second example, suppose it is about clothing. Our company is very large and we carry our clothes in a huge truck. However, the huge truck will not take you directly to the store. They will take those clothes to a ship and from there, they will be transported in another type of vehicle.
Knowing aspects of this type makes distribution logistics very necessary. They are details that seem clear but must be properly organized and managed.
Areas in which it is distributed
It is vitally important to understand that depending on the areas to which it is distributed, we will have to take into account other costs. Suppose we distribute outside of our nation: are there tariffs? If they exist, what are their costs and is there any possibility of reducing them?
In addition to this question, which is one among many, there are many others. An important detail is security. There are countries in which transporting jewelry carries much less risk than in others, where the probability of robbery is much higher.
We must prevent this to avoid costs in this regard.
Distribution logistics encompasses many more issues. But, in any case, it should be clear that the three mentioned functions are related to each other. Decisions made in one will be taken into account in others.