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Transportation and Logistics Management Research

The operations of transportation are a lifeline for the well-being of the development sectors of today’s world. Any shift in position of a load is a transport entity that has economic implications. The definition of the term; the policy frameworks mainstreaming; the role in management of operations and the infrastructure layout application of transportation attest its typical value addition to other sectors. Transportation is defined essentially as the activity of (or the system used in) moving load (things or people) form a point of origin to a destination. Thus, when transportation service meets a need by moving load, then an economic demand is satisfied. Modern strategic policy ends are shaping transport inline with the development agenda. The policy formulations have a holistic view of intergenerational and intergenerational equity, income distribution, access and benefit sharing and environment care. These are mainly concerns for sustainable development.

According to an executive summary on behalf of European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering (2001), the Common Transport Policy by European Union released in 1992 spells out the need for liberal right for humanity’s and other loads mobility and role of transport as a regional development tool (p. 28). Other aspects incorporated in the document include necessities for occupational health and safety in transport sector, developing transport for international interlinking as well as integrating sustainable development concerns in transport inter alia. Conventional transport activities have diversified along delivery of bulky and light consignments be it in shipping carriers, road transits, airline services, pipeline conveyance, ropeway delivery or railway transport. In addition, the spatial reach and temporal efficiency of transport operators have had an integral significance in the direction which transportation is advancing.

The entry of logistics management aimed at facilitating transportation in meeting its ends. Logistics management provides transport operations with solutions to ensure load delivery within time specifications and right destination. Logistics management inception was in the military arrangements involving getting soldiers and their itinerary at the battlefront at the appropriate time. Actually, the origin of the term logistics and its primary application was probably in the military cycles. This is dated back either towards the end of 18TH Century or in the early times of 19TH Century (Tseng, Taylor & Yue, 2005) (p. 1659). Later on, logistics models made inroads into the business sector to provide solutions for the expanding commercial needs.

Afterwards, the concept of logistics found its way into the business curriculum. According to Tseng, Taylor & Yue, (2005) the American perception divides the historical development of logistics management in the commercial sectors into four time zones (p. 1660). Years before 1960 logistics management had less significance role while the two decades after, the business fraternity began applying it on administrative functions. The two decades in the 1980s and 1990s forms the third time zone. During these period, application logistics management got boost from the growth in commercial transportation and market research. Lastly, the 21st Century saw the entry of the third party logistics (Tseng, Taylor & Yue, 2005) (p. 1660). Applications of information technology and use of intelligence tools in track and trace monitoring have influenced the evolution of transportation and logistics management operations. Reduced paperwork and improved customer awareness about delivery operations promoted growth in the two. In the modern era, the cumulative accounts of costs incurred in logistics management imply that the transportation expense is an important integral. i2 Technologies (2007) registered in the US is an example of a company that offers logistics management services. Its services range from supervising transport events during order delivery; applying suitable models to plan solutions for transportation networks; generate least-cost delivery sound theoretical frameworks and use essential indicator to gauge performance. In addition, the company negotiates transactions bids for optimal shipment on concerted bases; provide solutions on maximizing shipment space for freights; perform logistical tracking and intelligence schemes during delivery; provide systemic solutions that sustain supply-chain management cycle and provide appropriate financial posting during shipment.

The close coexistence between the two has established well in urban transportation where city logistics is to provide solutions to tackle traffic congestion. In the wake of accelerated development, cities are experiencing an influx of transport activities driven by optimization and competition. Bulk delivery of raw and refined products, mass commuter movement, pollution and inadequate networks characterize the inefficiency of urban transportation. Environmentalists have listed these issues as among the concerns for redress in developing sustainable cities. The need to develop opportunities within the urban setup that allow for logistical solutions seems to be the turning point for theses issues. Tailor made solutions will not only tackle needs in the transport sector but also in supply chain management, storage facilities, domestic distribution networks and trans-boundary deliveries. Efficacy in the logistics solutions for transportation in cities lie in dynamic technologies and active anticipation of potential problems and providing prevention mechanism prior to their occurring. Cities are experiencing accelerated change. Proper planning procedures and appropriate policies provide an enabling environment for advancing the synergies between logistics management and transportation. In this sense, those implementing logistics need prioritize the understanding the microcosms of different transportation forms and the way they operate. Although mutual coexistence between both may reflect a positive relationship among their generics but clear lines exist in the way they operate. Nevertheless, analysis of operations should foster the strengths that exist between the two. Information technology tools are increasingly becoming synonymous with logistics solutions: text messaging and voice communication on mobiles that serve to correspond or automatic alerts send to clients about delivery developments; satellite communication with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) that track direction while provides coordinates of the exact position of delivering track or carrier and the use of internet tracking (DHL, 2010).

Maritime services are relative slower in their delivery operations but can handle high volume and bulky loads at cheaper rates. This has favored international oil and grain bulk shipment. Maritime services are increasingly becoming an important transport means for international delivery. Up to 10% of Chile’s international cargos deliveries are outside maritime operations (Marcela, 2009) (p. 2). Tseng, Taylor & Yue, (2005) divides maritime operations along three typologies (p. 1664). Liner carriers perform routine trips with less specialized in the kind of load delivered; tramp carriers perform more chartered delivery trips while shipping classified consignments while Industry Shipping entails mainly transporting raw material supplies thus carriers are fitted with suitable containers for the load type. Efficacy of docking services at the port of entry form part of priority logistical issues. High-end information technology solutions are making inroads in shipment tracking, docking operations and dispatch to ease congestion. However, according to Marcela, (2009) case study on Chile, maritime operations reported busy schedules, relatively less accident incidences and efficient resource use (p. 2).

Most countries have prioritized airfreight services. Analysts perceive breakthrough into issues facing this industry will involve collaborative approaches than private operator solutions (Tseng, Taylor & Yue, 2005) (p. 1665). In addition, provide sound synergistic solutions with other forms transport. Land logistics operations are fundamental in any transportation systems. It is an important hub especially for air and shipping logistics. They deal with linking mainland with ports of entry. They provide solutions in pipeline systems, road and railway transports. Their operations double with e-commerce and express delivery services. Land transportation concerns form central issues in the current logistics management practice. Largely, trade off solutions can redress adequately the increasing congestion problem in land transportation to reduce excess traffic.

Reverse logics are cornerstone to some industrial operations. Industrial parks that seek to minimize pollution and reduce waste are relying on reverse logistics value addition. The realization of cost cutting through clean production is driving the adoption reverse logistics. This conveying service can form bases for negotiation in carbon units traded between the transport operator and client industry. The extent of implementation to harness mutual benefits will rely on finding an amicable framework for operation. Furthermore, industrial activities still struggle with the carbon emission deficits. Clean production technologies such as industrial ecology and recycling are opening gateways for application of logistical solutions. With the diversity of industrial operations, client satisfaction within the solutions provided will rely on efficiency and efficacy of logistical models adopted.

Contemporary issues in environment are bidding to shape the future of transportation. The extent to which transportation abides to the reforms by the environment campaign will depend on environmentally friendly technologies adopted. Major milestones involve embracing clean energy with efficient fuel combustion engines. Countries such as United States have prioritized embracing these paradigm shift (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). Leaded fuels and massive carbon emission from fossil fuel are some of the discrepancies for redress through associated scientific research in transportation. Skeptics in some scientific quarters are questioning the reality of climate change phenomenal and whether, global warming is anthropogenic. Whether or not it is a reality, the global populace is bracing for climate change adaptation. Carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas element. Carbon emission levels are overwhelming the current carbon sink mechanisms. Environmentalists are posing fears of irreversible environmental changes if remedial actions are not timely. A positive correlation exists between energy input and consequent environment damage. For instance, United States and China draw two-fifth of global energy and consequently produce half of the global greenhouse gasses (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2008). Experts predict that solutions to these problems lie in the adoption of clean energy initiatives. Another that has transport implication is the poor visibility in some cities due to urban smog caused formation of ozone at the lower troposphere. Transportation is among cornerstone sectors in any economy and cannot be substituted nor avoided. The close relationship between logistics and transportation stand great test on the appropriate solutions provided to tackle issues that dog both. Key emerging issues in this relationship include transportation expense incurred account a significant stake in logistics costs; client satisfaction remains a functional business bottom line and adjusting accordingly to up to date occupational practices. Appropriate Solutions should integrate environment concerns and other sustainable development elements within their client services. International policymakers have forwarded ISO 14000 as a guiding tool for this.


Atlantic Council of the United States. (2008). U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean and Efficient Transportation. Web.

DHL. (2010). Track DHL express shipment. Web.

European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering. (2001). Freight Logistics and Transport Systems in Europe. Web.

i2 Technologies. (2007). Solution sheet: total logistics management. Web.

Marcela, C. (2009). Logistics and Transportation Investment and Opportunities. Web.

Tseng, Y. Taylor, M.A.P. & Yue, W. L. (2005). The Role of Transportation in Logistics Chain. Web.

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