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Relating physical characteristics with distribution network choices

Dr Nick Wright uses the example of grocery items to illustrate the influence of physical characteristics on distribution networks.

We can now visualise that every product with similar physical characteristics has a unique supply chain with its own logistics tailored so the goods can be moved, stored and preserved.

In the video, Nick Wright uses the example of grocery items (frozen, chilled and ambient items) to illustrate the key influence of physical characteristics on distribution network design.

However, it is important to note that this does not mean every product has its own supply chain; shared physical characteristics mean a shared network.

A good example is dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt.

  • Dairy goods come from farms and cows
  • They all need to be kept chilled to preserve them
  • Dairy products are all a similar size and have similar handling characteristics
  • Their packaging must be hygienic to assist handling and give consumers the confidence that the product is edible
  • This means that logistics resources and assets can be shared throughout the supply chain

Your task

Consider the physical characteristics of your grocery shop – and how the goods get to the store.
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Principles of Global Logistics Management

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