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Free Example of Logistics Design Essay

Intermodal transport refers to the combination of more than one mode of transport in the course of a single journey. It involves the movement of people or freight using one mode of transport and then another. The transfer of mode of transport usually occurs at a specific terminal e.g. at the sea port where freight is loaded from the ships onto the trucks and vice versa. Emergence of international and foreign trade has provided many businesses with opportunities to export and import raw materials and finished goods to and from international markets.

†Global logistics is a planned process of bringing together these international markets. Multimodal transportation network consists of a sequence of transport modes that offer connections between one point and the other. Intermodal transportation has in the past few years experienced high growth. This has been triggered by technology and the ease of doing business as global market gains momentum. The emergence of better techniques of transferring freights and good management units such as the containers has significantly improved the sector.

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†According to porter, the dynamic diamond theory suggests that a nationís global competitive advantage is linked to four elements. These elements are; factor conditions, related and support industries, company strategy & structure, rivalry and demand conditions. When global logistics change they cause degradation of trade policies and currency fluctuations. The ease of doing business has greatly contributed to intermodal transportation. One feature that is of major importance in this type of transport is the use of one ticket (for passengers) or a single bill of lading for freight. This together with deregulation has created an intermodalism revolution.

Many countries have joined in transforming the intermodal transportation sector. The importance of this type of transport cannot be underestimated considering the supply network it creates between the producers and the consumers. Take an example of the logistic park ĖChicago BNSTís new intermodal terminal; this facility was opened on October 15 and its cost was above $240M. This park has a new level of integration according to BNSF chairman and CEO Matt Rose, it has combined BNSF intermodal vehicle, car loading services with Trans-loading and warehousing.

The ware house facilitates intermodal transport by providing a place for storage of the goods; it protects the goods from harsh climatic weather conditions. It also saves time since there is a loading dock to load and upload loads from the racks. Ware house is important in intermodal transport because they are designed for unloading and loading of goods directly from railways, airports and seaports. The park provides a parking space for all the 7000 vehicle 105 trucks and 4 cranes. It also provides a spot for these vehicles as well as offering security .The logistic park has amble security to all the vehicles that are packed there. Another importance of logistic park is that this park serves as a carload traffic it has a 10 track yard with space for over 644 freight cars. This is important because the load is moved without changing are handling the load directly, this improves in security. The global logistic park in Chicago has employed over 300 people , the industrial park is anticipated to employee over 800 †permanent people .This mode of transport has offered may job opportunities to the† people.

For long-distances moves, intermodal transport is far cheap. However, for short distances, this type of transport can be cumbersome and uneconomical.† Consider goods manufacture in USA whose destination is in Europe. This will require an intermodal transport where the goods are transported to the sea port by trucks, loaded to the ship and unloaded at another terminal where they are transported by road again to the market. Using the railways is more economic, secure and environmental friendly as compared to road transportation alone, in this way using intermodal transport becomes easy, safe and conserves the environment. As compared to only one mode of transport intermodal transport enjoys the advantage of economies of scale because it is large. Intermodal transport is faster than one mode of transport, thus it provides faster means of transport.

The globalization of resources and markets has placed the intermodal transport sector at a great advantage. It is now the most common form of delivering goods to the customers especially where the producer and consumer are located in far distances. Customers are now days indifferent to global sourcing issues. They expect goods to be delivered at their convenience and at an affordable cost. This has necessitated intermodal transportation as it ensures delivery of goods and services at the doorstep on the consumers. Despite the ease of doing business, firms doing business across borders continues to face amicable challenges:

Since firms operate businesses in other countries they are bound to face legal and government regulations in these countries. These regulations are ways of conserving the environment, manufacturing and transport regulations, labor regulations, safe transportation of hazardous materials elimination.

Other changes arise because of globalization; this occurs in the form of cultural, economic and social globalization (Dilger, 2003). Firms may face different factors that are not available in the country of origin and this may affect the way business is conducted. The major stimulators of a growing economy are logistics and supply chains; therefore if they are affected by globalization they reduce the modes of operating the business. Most companies aspire to go global, not realizing the challenges they are likely to face.

Itís a fact that developed countries are more technologically advanced compared to those countries that are developing; this difference in technology affects firms productivity and the modes of operation. It is a challenge for any company to operate in countries where penetration of technology is poor. Supply chain requires frequent communication and network and these elements are best enhanced by technology (Dilger, 2003). On the other hand, a company operating domestically will have a small market portfolio which it can manage without pressure and does not face differing technological levels as regions of the same country experience similar technology use.

Technology, flexibility and feasibility go hand in hand with information, this combination leads to an area that more and more important in supply chain management that need to be upgraded. Ultimately the information will assist organizations to streamline their processes and reduce inventory, the trick right now is to take the raw data and interpret it into a form that is useful for the customer. In fact, many would argue that today, handling the chain of supply is concerned with managing information than moving and transporting goods.

The supply chain is affected by difference in tax and tariffs differentiation in other countries. Countries use tariffs on global and international trade on the goods imported and exported so that they can discourage consumers and customers from buying goods from other nations and also selling them. This makes consumers to purchase domestic goods, which will help improve the nationís economy. In case there were no tariffs on foreign goods, the country would start to import more than export which can slowly lead the country into economic depression. High Tariffs are not good for any the country since they make the foreign products †more expensive and this makes buyers to pay much more.

When dealing with business there is a possibility that the exchange rate will affect the company transacting business in that country. This occurs because different countries have different currencies therefor on might have a gain or loss depending on the exchange rate. This will affect the supply chain and pose a challenge on when to use a constant rating in determining the cost of supply or transportation of goods to customers.

In conclusion, the spread of intermodal transportation is vital to the success of supply management. Modern terminals that incorporate the use of technology and constant tariffs should be adopted to enhance the ease of doing business. The global market is likely to expand once proper policies regarding supply of commodities across borders and intermodal transportation are put in place.

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