The Oxford English Dictionary defines logistics as â€śthe branch of military science relating to procuring, maintaining and transporting material, personnel and facilities.â€ť
The Council of Logistics Management includes the integrated planning, control, realisation and monitoring of all internal and network-wide material as the definition for logistics.
Traditionally academics and practitioners refer to the terms operations or production management when talking about physical transformations taking place in a single business location, and reserve the term logistics for activities related to distribution â€“ meaning moving products from one place to another.
There are various terms related to logistics:
This is one of the primary processes of logistics, concentrating on purchasing and arranging the inbound movement of materials, parts or goods from suppliers to manufacturing or assembly plants, warehouses or retail stores.
The process related to the storage and movement of the final product and related information flows from the end of the production line to the end user.
South Africa boasts some fantastic logistic companies â€“ here are three of our countryâ€™s top companies and why they are so successful.
The independent Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
This company is innovative, flexible and has a unique approach to shipping, enabling it to continue growing very successfully above and beyond the first decade of the New South Africa.
It was founded in 1970 and has now become the biggest user of the South African ports.
In 2003 it was given the accolade of being the second biggest container carrier in the world.
The success of MSC is eviden in the exceptional growth over the past decade, attributed to a quality management system that aims to continually and consistently improve service levels within the shipping community. The companyâ€™s versatility has a large part in ensuring clientâ€™s requirements are met.
This has enabled MSC to build excellent relationships with its clients, and this will hopefully see the company move into the number one position in the world in the future.
This first-rate transporting operation takes commuters to new places, new dreams, new opportunities and enables South Africa to enter a new legacy in public transport.
This world-class train enables Gauteng residents and visitors to avoid the heavy traffic on the roads, sit back and relax in comfort and arrive safely at their destinations, on time.
During the period 2005 â€“ 2025, it is estimated that around two million additional job opportunities will be created through the Gautrain infrastructure and this system will allow the province economy to grow by an average annual rate of between 4.5 and 5%.
Berco Express South Africa
This highly successful shipment company is acknowledged as the provider of quality services to industry for all consignments. This includes high-value, time-sensitive shipments.
The company has grown in a time span of 18 years to become one of the largest and most highly respected courier companies in South Africa.
Bercoâ€™s success has seen them now providing and perfecting the complete range of logistic services, including clearing and forwarding, warehousing, pick and pack and distribution.
Many describe South Africa as the world in one country. Not only does our breathtaking scenery include beautiful mountains and stark deserts, but we have golden beaches, vast game reserves and plenty of natural bushveld.
Whether you visit South Africa as a tourist or for business reasons, even though it is not a first-world country, it boasts many attributes that make it a rewarding destination.
When it comes to logistics and courier services, South Africa is up there with the best.
Fast and Furious
Though many would relate the name to the international blockbuster movies, this company is passionate about getting your product to its required destination FAST, and is FURIOUS about ensuring they get it right, so that customers stay happy and keep on utilising their outstanding service.
They specialise in the advertising, printing on point of sale industries, home deliveries, pharmaceuticals and freight forwarding. Their system allows them to provide consistent and excellent delivery service.
According to Grant Fletcher, Managing Director, their core business is mass express distribution with a bias towards advertising and marketing industries and home-delivery cosmetics.
The companyâ€™s competitive advantage is derived from meeting impossible deadlines for various time-sensitive consignments. They customise their service to meet your requirements, no matter how extreme the urgency or the size or nature of the shipment. They strive to ensure their customers are happy, and since they are not constrained by one-size-fits-all global procedures, they donâ€™t expect their customers to fit in with standard operating procedures and office hours.
This company is an individually owned subsidiary of The Bidvest Group Limited, and provides innovative, value added and flexible supply chain solutions, built around robust and predictive standard products.
The company has been in business for nearly 100 years. It is a major player in the South African global supply chain market and employs 1 100 people, with branches in all the major ports of South Africa.
It specialises in pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, FMCG and mining. Safcor Panalpina has a blue chip base of multinational clients and works closely with global partner, Panalpina World Transport group, their partner for over 34 years. The group operates a close-knit network with over 500 branches in 90 countries.
The company specialises in certain industry verticals, including telecommunications, Hi-tech, Automotive and other multinational clients.
Speed and security are two of their critical success factors. This is essential in the demanding and highly competitive supply chain management environment. The companyâ€™s premises are 15 500 square meters, adjacent to Or Tambo International Airport. It is a state-of-the-art logistics facility with high security measures.
Not only is this company one of the best, it is also well known for excellent employees. They are rated among South Africaâ€™s top 38 best employees, and the company views its staff as investors in the company. It recognises that employees are investing part of their lives, so the company tasks itself with maximizing its return and developing all its employees to their full potential.
So not only would it be in your best interest to utilise this company for your needs, it wouldnâ€™t be a bad idea to work for them as well!