Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsHello, Learners. I'm Sumeer, your mentor for Week Five. "I like to move it move it!" This week consisted of five main key segments spanning from basic definition, current and future scenarios, and of course, valuable discussions between the lead educator, me, and you all. The aim of this summary is to review the blocks, which we had during this week. And for this purpose, I'm glad that we have here with me Gwynne, who is the lead educator of this module for this particular round of week. Hi, Gwynne. How are you today? Hi, Sumeer. I'm fine. Thank you. So Gwynne, we'll start block-wise, so starting with the block one, which was "what is logistics?"

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsWe looked at the basic term of the logistic, what it means, and what it encompasses. So we also discussed the history of logistics and containers. So there was quite a discussion going on about the fact that we call logistics as an invisible industry. So from your point of view, what do you think? Why do we call logistics as an invisible not a transparent industry? Yeah. I think it's to do a lot with people not really understanding how products actually arrive at their homes or at the supermarket.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsIt's interesting that when we play the television video in terms of how the Samsung TV got from Korea to Argos, that there are quite a few people who hadn't understood or realised how many forms of transportation and how many times the television actually sat in the warehouse for a period of time as well. And I think that is the same for a lot of products as well. Yes, absolutely. I agree with your perception why we call it as an invisible. Even if we see the truckloads of material going around on the roads-- but still, planning this is quite invisible.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 secondsNow, the second thing is that how do we move the goods, because transportation plays a major part when we talk about the movement of goods. And in block number second, we discussed on how to look on the different modes of transportation and how we can combine them together in order to provide a really environmentally friendly means of delivering goods. So the impact of multi-modal hubs is increasing. So we have the multi-modal hubs. We have different modes of transportation combined together. So what can you say about the impact of large multi-modal hubs on the carbon footprint? Does it does it really reduce the carbon footprint? Yeah, Sumeer. I think it's more to do with the type of transportation.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 secondsI think if we can move more product by different modes of transportation-- currently, freight in most countries is moved by road between 70% and 80% of the time. So if we can move to a more environmentally friendly method of transportation, such as rail, inland waterways, then we can reduce carbon footprint. In terms of the multi-modal hubs, then yeah. There is a carbon footprint issue, because obviously we have to take up a lot of land to be able to transfer product from one mode of transport to another. However, I think that will be offset by reducing the CO2 emissions on freight vehicles and using transport, such as rail and inland waterways to transfer the goods in a more environmentally friendly way.

Skip to 4 minutes and 12 secondsSo, Gwynne, you mentioned a really important mode of transportation that is the inland waterways. So what do you think? In near future, what will be the role of inland waterways in the multi-modal transportation? I think that there is a place for inland waterways within multi-modal transportation. However, like many things in logistics, there is a trade off. And that trade off is between the speed of delivery, which you don't really get with inland waterways, versus a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. And with inland waterways, we have a situation where they can carry more freight.

Skip to 4 minutes and 56 secondsIf we think back to the London Olympics, one of the reasons they got the Olympics in London was the fact that they were going to use the River Thames to move a lot of the raw materials to actually build the stadium. So there is room for inland waterways, although, as you know, a lot of countries don't have a large river network or canal network. So therefore, those countries are going to be restricted. And even if you do have a canal network, as we do here in the UK, then barges can only travel at around 5 miles per hour. So again, we come back to the speed of delivery. And thank you for your answer, Gwynne.

Skip to 5 minutes and 47 secondsThat was quite interesting to know about the inland waterways. Now, moving to the block three, which was couriers and logistics, we discussed during this particular block what are the current and future challenges companies are facing. And there was a lot of comments regarding that to go into the logistics industry you need to have an engineering background. Do you think that the engineering is really a good starting point to opt for a career in logistics, or is it just a myth that if you need to be going logistics in this way, you have to be an engineer or you need to have an engineering background? Oh, certainly not. I did my degree in business studies.

Skip to 6 minutes and 34 secondsAnd I did a year out with British Road Services, which was a forerunner to DHL. And I really enjoyed working there and decided that was going to be my career as opposed to being a personnel manager or HR manager, as it is today. I don't think there is any degree that doesn't allow you to go into logistics. Obviously, what I'd like to see is in schools that logistics is taught at a younger age so people get an understanding of what logistics and supply chain is about. So they can actually choose to go directly into supply chain and logistics and maybe do a logistics degree, possibly followed on by a master's degree later on.

Skip to 7 minutes and 26 secondsSo I don't think there is a requirement to do engineering. Certainly, there is a situation now obviously with warehousing where there is a great deal more automation. So there is room for engineers within that. However, logistics is such a vast area where we have finance managers, we have HR managers, we have operations managers. So as a logistics person, your skill set can be very wide. And the great thing about logistics is that you have different challenges every day to deal with. So being flexible, having a great deal of common sense, I think as well, that certainly helps in that side of things.

Skip to 8 minutes and 16 secondsAnd in terms of a career choice, I'd love people to go into logistics because it is an exciting area. Yeah. Absolutely. You're absolutely correct, it's really an exciting area, and especially for the young generation because nowadays there is a deal that the young generation don't go into logistics. And most of the work force we have in logistics is what I would say is the older workforce. But as you said, if you started from the beginning from the school, and then we specialised them, then I think that in near future we'll see much, much more younger generation going into the field of logistics.

Skip to 8 minutes and 57 secondsAnd moving onto the block four now, you already mentioned that we might need specialised engineers for automation in the warehouses. So that is part of block four, which was totally focused on the warehousing. So we know that the warehouses are not from nowadays. They were introduced thousands of years ago. And now they are really developing significantly with mostly the technological advancement, the new platforms included, and so on. So what will be the impact of this automation on warehouse design? Will it really impact in future on the designing of the warehouse, or the design will stay as is and just the platforms will change? No. Automation will certainly have an impact on the design of warehouses.

Skip to 9 minutes and 53 secondsAnd one of the biggest impacts is the fact that warehouses can be built higher so that we can use less of a footprint on the ground. And as land costs increase significantly, then the lower the ground footprint the cheaper it's going to be to build the warehouse. And therefore, going high, a number of warehouses now are over 30, 35, even 40 metres high. And that can only be done through the introduction of automation. So from a warehouse design point of view, yes. It will have an impact. And obviously, it will have an impact on the labour side of things as well. And there will be fewer people working in the warehouse.

Skip to 10 minutes and 41 secondsSo, again, in terms of the footprint around the warehouse, there should be less requirement for the parking of cars and things like that as well. So yeah, definitely an impact. OK. So thank you very much for your valuable comments today. And I also would like to thank everyone who has been learning through this course, and for the comments, and really meaningful discussions. So that's all for week five. And I hope Learners enjoyed this particular course, as we did. Yeah. Absolutely. And thanks to everybody for all the valuable comments. It's been a really great week. Thank you.

Week 5 summary

Please return here at the start of Week 6 for the round-up video for Week 5.

Week 5 focused on the physical aspects of the supply chain. Before immersing yourself in this final week of the course, take some time to consolidate your learning from last week by watching the summary video.

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This video is from the free online course:

Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

The University of Warwick