In order for shipments to move between two points across the globe without there being damage to the goods or lengthy delays along the way, effective transport processes must be put in place and adhered to. While this is true of all logistics, international logistics requires even more planning as the shipments will be travelling further, passing through different countries and may even require multiple methods of transportation to reach the desired destination.

In this blog, we look at what international logistics is, how it is managed, how it differs to domestic logistics and how it impacts international trade.

What is global logistics management?

Global logistics management is an all encompassing term that refers to the considerations and duties required to facilitate the movement of goods from the original source to their eventual destination. Although similar to the transportation of goods across local regional and national areas, global logistics management is far more complex due to the greater number of variables that need to be considered to get the shipment from point A to point B.

The primary aim of logistics as a whole is to move a shipment between two locations safely and securely without incurring unnecessary expenses or delays. In essence, logistics deals with all the practical steps required to get shipments to where they need to be without any issues arising along the way. However, when it comes to global logistics, additional considerations may apply, such as:

  • customs duties and other international shipping fees
  • different expectations in terms of the quality of service
  • complex insurance regimes
  • varying laws and standards across different countries
  • more moving parts (such as a larger number of vendors and suppliers).
Global Logistics Map

How logistics is applied in international trade

Logistics is a key part of international trade as it enables both companies and individuals to import and export goods. By incorporating effective logistics into international trade, the flow of goods from supplier to customer can be carried out in an efficient and effective way.

Recognised as an essential part of supply chain management, freight forwarders and other relevant parties within this industry must have an in-depth understanding of how this process works both in theory and practice. It’s also vital that they’re aware of any and all factors that could hinder, delay or bring the process to a complete halt during the transportation of shipments.

Without functioning logistical processes, the supply chain management of international trade wouldn’t work as effectively or it may even fail to function at all. For instance, without the use of effective logistics in international trade, issues that could arise include:

  • Expensive shipping costs
  • infrequent or limited shipping opportunities
  • unnecessarily elaborate shipping routes
  • inaccurate track and trace systems
  • significant delays to handling and clearance
  • reduced or complete lack of port storage facilities
  • poor coordination across different countries in regards to border procedures
  • no quality assurance.

As logistics allows the supply chain in international trade to function effectively, it’s important to understand exactly what tasks it involves. For example, areas of logistics within supply chain management include the management of materials, inventory control, purchasing, warehouse management, distribution and all forms of necessary transport from source to destination.