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Distribution logistics: ground or overland transport

Posted by SI-LOG on 17/04/2019

Distribution logistics: ground or overland transport

SI-LOG 17/04/2019 pubblicato in english, transport

Transportation modes are an essential component of transport systems since they are the means by which mobility is supported.

A wide range of modes that may be grouped into three broad categories based on the medium they exploit: land, water and air.

Each mode has its own requirements and features, and is adapted to serve the specific demands of freight and passenger traffic. Overland transport is the simplest, most common and used since antiquity. Especially in Italy. Two major modes make up the ground transport system, roads and railways. Obviously, roads were established first, as rail technology only became available by the 18th century, in the midst on the industrial revolution. Historical considerations are important in assessing the structure of current land transportation networks.

But exactly, what are we talking about when referring to "land transport"? We will investigate the topic in this article.


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Ground transport: all information

When it comes to ground freight, you have two options, Road or Rail. Usually companies prefer road shipments when it comes to short and easily accessible connections, while they choose the train to cover large distances, where it takes several days to get the goods to their destination.

When a company decides to use land transport, it is customary to make a distinction between "loose goods" and "full load" before deciding which solution to adopt. "Bulk goods" means the possibility of booking spaces for one or more pallets on a truck or on a train carriage. This allows you to split the shipping costs with other companies that have also purchased that space. Many transporters have fixed prices for bulk goods and in technical jargon we talk about LCL: Less than a Container Load. With "full load" or FCL (Full Container Load) it refers instead to the fact that the customer books a complete truck or an entire railway carriage and in this case the shipping costs increase.

Currently road transport in Italy is the most used and is in strong expansion, as it is on international level as well. This for different reasons: it is a highly customizable service, a real "door to door" service with flexible hours, able to meet the needs of each customer with different formulas, from urgent delivery to the scheduled one, from groupage to full load. It is then a service suitable for minimum loads and that it is possible to monitor, follow and even modify "real time" with modern tracing and tracking services. An in-depth analysis of this topic can be found at the link "How Big Data improves the distribution logistics process". 

Furthermore, e-commerce is becoming increasingly important for road transport, considered a factor in the growth and development of city logistics. Increasingly demanding consumer demands inevitably affect the type of transport a company is required to choose at the time of delivery.

Whereas, among the disadvantages of road transport, firstly there is its negative impact on the environment: this transport mode leads to a major increase in pollution, noise, traffic and accidents. The contribution of road transport is higher still in towns and cities. Also when pollution levels are high, the contribution of road transport is often greater. Emission regulations are adopted as part of the EU framework for the type approval of cars, vans trucks, buses and coaches.  According to European directives, by 2030, 30 per cent of goods will have to travel by rail, while before 2050 greenhouse gas emissions will have to be cut by half, an easier result to achieve by containing uncontrolled growth of road traffic and re-evaluating the role of the railways. By alleviating highway gridlock, using less fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rail provides the affordable, efficient and environmentally-responsible transportation solution.

In addition to consumer demands and the impact of pollution, what are the other factors that impact on the logistics distribution sector? Investigate them all by reading our paper "The disruptive trends that are changing the world of logistics": click on the image below to read it!


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➡️ Do you want further information about distribution logistics? Check this article and find out all you are interested in!

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