The logic of logistics

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thirdcrank
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The logic of logistics

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2012, 1:10pm

We have had discussions about the unnecessary mileage involved in the distribution of goods and I've had an example today. My mother has a chair on order from a nationally-known maker of high-seat chairs, whose head office is down the road in Dewsbury. I got a call last night from the delivery people to offer delivery on 2 January. The chair is ready but the Christmas Holiday means there's no delivery slot till the New Year. I can't collect it from the factory myself because it's already in Chorley, Lancs, the distribution hub.

I appreciate that this is nothing like as simple as it sounds, but that's over a hundred miles extra in a large furniture van, compared with me picking it up in a car. Then we wonder why the M62 is being "improved" yet again, but traffic there is frequently at a standstill.

PH
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby PH » 20 Dec 2012, 1:21pm

You need to see the bigger picture to understand the logistics. Everything is price driven, it's often the case that things that look daft at first glance make better sense when all the details are known.
I work in logistics and can tell you that milleage per item and mileage per cost unit are not as easily linked as some would think.

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meic
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby meic » 20 Dec 2012, 1:26pm

Everything is price driven.
Diesel is too cheap.
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2012, 1:35pm

PH wrote:You need to see the bigger picture to understand the logistics. Everything is price driven, it's often the case that things that look daft at first glance make better sense when all the details are known.
I work in logistics and can tell you that milleage per item and mileage per cost unit are not as easily linked as some would think.


You are right of course. My wife likes blueberries and they come from Argentina. That's an even bigger picture still. :lol:

Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I'mm shelling out my mother's £££ to buy a locally-made chair. There must be somebody in China who is making them at a fraction of the cost.

mrjemm
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby mrjemm » 20 Dec 2012, 2:04pm

meic wrote:Everything is price driven.
Diesel is too cheap.


All fuel is.

Especially when you think of the planet's health, and: Piper A, Deepwater Horizon, Torrey Canyon, Exxon Valdez, Voss Sailor last week, etc.

thirdcrank wrote:You are right of course. My wife likes blueberries and they come from Argentina. That's an even bigger picture still. :lol:


Have you noticed how hard it is to find UK apples (for example) in a supermarket? A rhetoric question, I know, as it's become the norm, and despite Who Funnily-Unwittingstill pointing such things out, nothing changes except the marketing of now premium 'locally sourced' produce.

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jezer
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby jezer » 20 Dec 2012, 2:53pm

meic wrote:Everything is price driven.
Diesel is too cheap.

I think all motor fuel is too cheap, the recent announcement that the fuel surcharge would be cancelled surely sends the wrong message :?
Power to the pedals

AlaninWales
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby AlaninWales » 20 Dec 2012, 3:37pm

thirdcrank wrote:
PH wrote:You need to see the bigger picture to understand the logistics. Everything is price driven, it's often the case that things that look daft at first glance make better sense when all the details are known.
I work in logistics and can tell you that milleage per item and mileage per cost unit are not as easily linked as some would think.


You are right of course. My wife likes blueberries and they come from Argentina. That's an even bigger picture still. :lol:

Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I'mm shelling out my mother's £££ to buy a locally-made chair. There must be somebody in China who is making them at a fraction of the cost.

Did you do any research to find out if there is a local craftsperson who can make the chair? Or did you go to a nationally known maker (dealer?) in chairs by default? If the former, did you talk to them about delivery when you placed the order?

Rob Archer
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby Rob Archer » 20 Dec 2012, 6:19pm

Royal Mail is one of the more extreme examples. If I post a letter to an address in King's Lynn (where I live) I goes to Peterborough, 40 miles away, and back again. They're now talking of closing the sorting office in Cambridge, so their mail will do the same - generating several hundred extra lorry movements per week.

mrjemm
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby mrjemm » 20 Dec 2012, 6:25pm

Come to think of it, it annoys me most when the commodity is me.

I am certain the folk in the office have no concept of geography, despite it being pretty much a core of the business, and sometimes the routing they ticket us for is insane. Or they have a very unkind sense of humour, and play on my 'disenjoyment' of flying. :evil:

Brian
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby Brian » 20 Dec 2012, 6:41pm

All of the garden waste that Leeds City Council collects with its brown bin scheme is sent down the M62 to Hull. Thats a fleet of lorrys making a round trip of over 100 miles. It doesnt seem very green to me.

thirdcrank
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2012, 6:48pm

AlaninWales wrote: ... Did you do any research to find out if there is a local craftsperson who can make the chair? Or did you go to a nationally known maker (dealer?) in chairs by default? If the former, did you talk to them about delivery when you placed the order?


The firm we went to has its factory in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and a showroom nearby. We ordered from the showroom so my mother could sit on the chair to try it and select her own fabric covering. Bearing in mind that my mother was born in Batley - which is just a bit further up Bradford Road than the factory - it's somewhere she sees as local and I've walked from here to Dewsbury in the past (although I wasn't carrying furniture.)

I conducted no further research beyond personal knowledge. ie she needed a high seat chair and there's a long-established, reputable manufacturer nearby. As for craftspersons, she wanted an ordinary chair of sound quality, not an heirloom. Nor did I ask about distribution. Apart from anything else, I'd not have put in an appearance there this morning had I known that the chair was already in Lancashire.

While I can see that nothing will change so long as customers go along with this type of thing, I'm not in the business of cutting off my mother's nose to spite her face. She will be 93 in the next few days and needs the chair now - not when I've reformed British industry.

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meic
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby meic » 20 Dec 2012, 6:50pm

You would think that the wonders of modern science could come up with a better solution than the age old one of putting garden waste in a bin in your garden and letting it rot down before using it as compost.
No waste, no transport miles and free fertile compost.

You can even pee in it and save on your water usage. :wink:

We have progressed from such simpletons' low technology nowadays.
Yma o Hyd

Mark1978
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby Mark1978 » 20 Dec 2012, 7:10pm

I ordered a custom made Christmas card through the Apple 'cards' app. Arrived today having come from the Czech Republic. It's really cheaper to ship it across Europe than print it in the UK?

Mark1978
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby Mark1978 » 20 Dec 2012, 7:11pm

jezer wrote:
meic wrote:Everything is price driven.
Diesel is too cheap.

I think all motor fuel is too cheap, the recent announcement that the fuel surcharge would be cancelled surely sends the wrong message :?


Completely totally disagree. But it's a subject for a different thread.

thirdcrank
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Re: The logic of logistics

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2012, 8:00pm

One point I missed from my last thread, was that had I been able to talk to somebody senior at the company to discuss their transport arrangements, I suspect their answer might well have been that if they had not streamlined / modernised / whatever their system of distribution, then there would have been no factory in Dewsbury by now because they'd not have been competitive on price.