Navigating Successful Shipping Logistics


Navigating Successful Shipping Logistics


Having a strong logistics network is vital to the success of businesses. As more and more goods need to travel greater distances to reach their final destination, the various elements of logistics networks have to link up efficiently. With next day consumer expectations and ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing operations becoming increasingly popular, the planning and execution of the transportation process has become even more important in helping set companies apart from their competitors.

What Are the Three Main Types of Logistics Strategies?

There are three main logistics strategies businesses use to move goods between different points in the supply chain, which are:

Outbound logistics

As its name implies, outbound logistics is the process of moving goods from their point of origin to their place of receipt. This does not necessarily mean the final destination of a product’s journey from raw materials to supermarket shelf. It could be where the goods are received for a particular stage in a product’s development.

Inbound logistics

Inbound logistics is the process of receiving the goods. This is co-ordinated by the party that takes receipt of the cargo. Examples of inbound logistics could be the way goods are checked in and processed at a warehouse, or customs documentation is prepared. It’s important to remember that any link in the supply chain is a combination of both outbound and inbound logistics, and responsibility for the different stages is shared between both parties.

Reverse logistics

Reverse logistics is what happens when goods move in the opposite direction back through the supply chain, either from one stage to the next, or through the complete product cycle. This could take place, for example, in the motor industry, if a faulty car part has to be returned to where it was manufactured. The party involved with an inbound process would then be responsible for the outbound process.

Exploring The Five Elements of Logistics?

There are five core elements of logistics: storage and warehousing, packaging and unitisation, inventory, transport, information and control. Each plays a key role in the formulation of a company’s logistics strategy.

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Storage and Warehousing

Warehouse management is vitally important in logistics strategy. Businesses need to store goods at optimum capacity, so that they can be despatched when required by customers. A warehouse has to have the right technology and equipment in place to ensure goods can be stored and moved efficiently, both around the warehouse and for their outbound transportation.


Packaging and Unitisation

Goods need to be packaged in a way that protects them from damage, keeps them at optimum condition (if, for example, they are perishable), so they can be efficiently moved during transportation. This usually means being unitised in the form of a cube.



An inventory manager always has to juggle three variables: ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how much’. What products should come into a warehouse; where in the warehouse they should be located; and what quantity of stock should be held at any one time. These calculations will take into account sales data and levels of historic demand, to ensure that the inventory of goods held by a business is not too great, or too little, but just enough.



The type of transport a logistics network will need is obviously important. The distance goods will have to travel will mean the use of planes, container ships, lorries, freight trains and other transport means. The conditions goods need to be held in during transit is also an influence on what kind of transport is suitable.


Information and Control

Information and data have a role to play too. Various procedures are triggered by relevant information being available in a control, design and management system. In the world of shipping, the use of smart containers to track shipments and provide real-time information to a business’s logistics network.


As an MSC customer you will have access to our extensive storage and warehousing network, and the global coverage provided by our sea and inland transportation services. If you’re looking to handle all your logistics solutions in one place, discover MSC’s range of shipping and logistics solutions.

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