Online course in Business & Management

Principles of Global Logistics Management

Discover the key concepts of a global distribution network, including the physical characteristics of goods.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $69 Find out more
This course is part of the program Global Distribution Networks, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in MSc Global Logistics. Find out more.

Explore logistics and supply chains, and the issues of globalisation

On this course, you will identify and explore the issues shaping global logistics in the world today. You will have the opportunity to define logistics and supply chains and address the importance of the physical characteristics of goods.

Throughout this course, you will evaluate the influence of inventory, outsourcing and trade blocks on global networks. You will also discuss and assess, in detail, the problems caused by this increasing globalisation.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1

  • Defining logistics and supply chains
  • Supply chain river
  • Elements of logistics
  • Physical characteristics: how does this shape logistics?
  • Compare coal and diamonds, or ladders and clothing, or gold and ammonium nitrate.

Week 2

  • What is shaping global logistics? Globalisation, inventory reduction, outsourcing and supply chain complexity.
  • Recognise key global trade blocks and movement of trade internationally.
  • Critically evaluate globalisation and problems it can cause.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify what shapes the global logistics market
  • Recognise physical characteristics of goods
  • Critically evaluate the effect of physical characteristics on logistics networks
  • Analyse the role of global trade blocks
  • Discuss the effect of global trade blocks on logistics movements
  • Consider the imbalance of trade, effect of protectionism, is free trade a dream?
  • Assess complexity of global supply chains
  • Evaluate inventory centralisation and the transport cost/inventory trade-off
  • Recognise the rise of outsourcing to the logistics service provider

Who is the course for?

This course is for business professionals aiming to improve their logistics, supply chain or distribution skills.

Please note, the individuals listed in the “Who will you learn with?” section below may be subject to change.

Please note that the staff described in the ‘Who will you learn with?’ section below may be subject to change.

Who will you learn with?

Nick Wright

Nick Wright

Nick Wright is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the CILT with over 30 years' experience in global logistics senior management roles in Europe and the USA.

Who developed the course?

Coventry secured gold in the UK Government’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and is University of the Year for Student Experience in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$239 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Advance your career with a degree

What's different about this course?

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

How do degrees work on FutureLearn?

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from Coventry University

Which program and degree is this course part of?

This course is part of the program Global Distribution Networks, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in MSc Global Logistics.