Simulation for Logistics: An Introduction

Discover logistics business simulation and explore the behaviour of logistics operations to identify problems in processes.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $64 Find out more
This course is part of the program Simulation for Global Logistics, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in MSc Global Logistics. Find out more.

Explore the basics of logistics simulation to help develop decision-making

On this course, you will be shown how current operations work within a business supply chain and will explore affordable scenarios for further improvements.

You will explore the benefits of logistics simulation along with limitation and other modelling steps. You will also gain the opportunity to learn how to better deal with uncertainty and reduce future business risks.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1

  • Introduction to logistics business simulation
  • What is simulation?
  • Why do we need simulation?
  • What can simulation do?
  • Where can simulation be used?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of simulation
  • How is simulation accomplished?
  • Simulation steps
  • Warehouse management example
  • Session summary
  • Suggested readings
  • Introduction to ARENA Rockwell software and modelling modules

Week 2

  • Fundamental components, including system, model and modelling
  • Modelling elements, including entity, attribute, activity, event and state variables
  • Basics of selecting entities
  • Basics of selecting attributes
  • Visual examples of system modelling elements
  • System analysis-tabular form
  • Building a first ARENA simulation model

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...

  • Assess when and where simulation is needed
  • Investigate the ability of simulation to solve logistics problems
  • Explore the simulation steps that can be applied to simulate systems
  • Develop an understanding of the system concept and its components
  • Explore different types of system elements
  • Identify ways of using such elements to represent the system being modelled

Who is the course for?

This course is of particular interest to anyone with a keen interest in logistics operations and how to manage them efficiently while facing uncertainties in a virtual environment.

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

What software or tools do you need?

ARENA Simulation Software - Download the trial version.

Throughout this short course/program you will be using Arena software. In order to take part in the practical tasks that exist in this short course/program, please take a look at the system requirements.

Who will you learn with?

Ammar Al-Bazi

Ammar Al-Bazi

Dr Ammar Al-Bazi is a specialised academic with an experience of 21 years in Business Simulation and Optimisation solutions and Senior Lecturer of Business Information Systems at Coventry University

Jim Rowley

Jim Rowley

Dr Jim Rowley EngD MSc BEng (Hon) CEng CMILT FHEA MIET PGCE, Assistant Professor in supply chain management, logistics, simulation and operations management at Coventry University, UK.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

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.


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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


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

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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 Simulation for Global Logistics, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in MSc Global Logistics.