Logistics Support Services for Supply Chain Efficiency

logistics support services

Logistics support services are pivotal in ensuring the seamless flow of goods and information throughout the supply chain. By leveraging advanced technologies and strategic partnerships, these services enable businesses to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and precisely meet customer demands.

Optimizing Operations with Logistics Support Services:

Unlock the potential of your supply chain with comprehensive Logistics Support Services designed to streamline operations and drive efficiency.

Data Synchronization through the GDSN service providers:

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is a network maintained by GS1 that enables manufacturers, brands, and marketers to exchange and update product content, taxonomy, and packaging information throughout the product’s life cycle. All manufacturers are familiar with GS1’s services, which involve issuing barcodes based on GTIN identifiers for each product and packaging based on the product identifiers. While primary product identifiers like GTIN are included in Product Content and Taxonomy Management, other identifiers such as GTIN14, GS1-128 (formerly Code 128), and SSCC play a crucial role in logistics by providing important product packaging information.

GS1 authorizes Data Pool service providers to connect with the GDSN network and update product and packaging information for clients who prefer to use their services instead of GS1’s other services. Large businesses subscribe to GDSN services to receive real-time updates on the millions of products they source from vendors. Updating real-time data is essential because vendors often have hundreds of thousands of products. Vendors can update their product and packaging data with GS1 or use Data Pool services. Regardless of the method, they must provide updated data online or by uploading data sheets. Given the constant launch of new products, it is wise to outsource the service to experts who can effectively track changes and update data accordingly.

The following articles may be of interest to learn more about GDSN:

Maintaining Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCC):

The GS1 has created SSCC to identify each shipping unit and track them in a consignment. This identifier is usually assigned to the items’ highest level of packaging hierarchy. The SSCC coding includes information such as GTIN or GTIN14 of the product, manufacturing date, expiry or use-by date, batch numbers, order numbers, and buyer-required information, as prescribed by GS1. The SSCC number is not based on the product GTIN and is coded using only the subscriber number as the base. Each vendor ships multiple shipping units to different customers, and the SSCC code can track each unit. It is best to outsource the maintenance of the SSCC code to logistics experts, especially those specializing in GDSN, due to the high volume of units.

Inward and Outward Transportation of Goods:

The transportation of goods has been an essential part of human life since ancient times. From porters carrying goods to modern-day air and surface transportation via rail, road, and waterways, logistics has played a crucial role in supply chain management. Whether it’s the inbound movement of goods for production or the outbound direction for sale, the complexity of multimodal transport can be overcome by outsourcing logistics and tracking functions to experts in the field.

Our article Freight Management: A Strategic Outsourcing Approach explores the intricacies of Freight Management.

Managing e-commerce shipments:

Maintaining fulfilment centres is of utmost importance for logistics support. Managing shipments to end customers in B2C and D2C operations is crucial, especially in e-commerce. To keep customers satisfied and retain them, timely tracking and delivery of packages are essential. As a part of maintaining customer relations, returns are also expected, and arranging shipment and tracking returns plays a crucial role in e-commerce. Organizations with multiple locations can outsource the task of organizing and tracking e-commerce shipments to specialists. Warehouse operators or logistics service providers can provide logistics and warehousing services to ensure on-time delivery of all packages.

Arranging import/export shipments:

When exporters transport goods across borders, they embark on a journey that takes them through multiple modes of transportation before the goods reach their destination. Shipping containers carry goods between inland areas and ports/airports before crossing international waters. Road and rail transportation also play a crucial role in this process. Upon arrival at the destination port/airport, the goods may require further transportation to reach the customer.

Freight forwarders, who sometimes function as Customs Agents, provide logistics support services and offer various services related to the global transportation of goods. They can arrange for specialists to handle various aspects of transportation, making the process seamless and effortless for the customer. Sellers can transport liquids and gas through pipes across vast distances, including between nations. It is a viable solution for companies to outsource International logistics to forwarders. It ensures that operations are smooth and well-synchronized to avoid cost overruns due to delays.

Compliance with shipping formalities and data interchange at the origin and destination:

The surge in demand and consumption has led to a significant increase in the shipment of goods across borders. However, with the rise in volumes, it becomes impractical to inspect each shipment physically. This poses a significant risk of illegal trade of items. To combat this, most governments require the submission of information on imported or exported goods. Shippers must file this information at least two or three days before shipment or loading onto the vessel. The details required include the buyer and seller’s information, manufacturer name and location, and shipped items.

Governments need this information to have enough time to block the movement of potentially dangerous shipments and subject such shipments to further investigations. Companies can outsource compiling and submitting data to agencies, allowing them to focus on other business areas. Complying with these regulations is critical to ensuring goods’ safe and legal movement across borders.

Billing and forwarding from warehouses:

Sometimes, it’s beneficial for a company to take control of its product distribution in a specific area. By outsourcing to a Carrying and Forwarding Agency, the company retains ownership of its goods while the agent handles only necessary tasks. This approach can help streamline operations and maximize efficiency.

Implementing Global Model Numbers (GMN) of GS1:

GS1 has introduced a powerful tool called the Global Model Number (GMN). This tool enables businesses to manage their supply chains and inventory more efficiently. The GMN is an identifier with a maximum length of 25 alphanumeric characters. They consist of the Company Number and the model number assigned by the company to a product category or family. The last two digits of the identifier serve as a checksum. Companies can minimize errors and enhance operational efficiency by using this unique identifier, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. Adopting the GMN system opens up many opportunities for outsourced services. Thus, it is a crucial element of any successful supply chain.

Please read our following articles for deeper insights on logistics:-

For up-to-date news on logistics across all modes of transportation, see “Transport Topics“. They cover many topics, including trucking, freight, logistics, supply chain, etc. Here, you can find news articles, analysis, and insights on the latest trends and developments in the transportation industry.