Logistics is defined as the set of methods and means relating to the organization of a department, a company, etc. and including handling, transport, packaging, and sometimes supplies.
In the official definition of the AFNOR standard (standard X 50-600), logistics is a function “whose purpose is the satisfaction of expressed or latent needs, at the best economic conditions for the company and for a given level of service. The needs are internal (supply of goods and services to ensure the company’s operations) or external (customer satisfaction). It calls on several trades and know-how that contribute to the management and control of physical and information flows and resources”. Many company processes, therefore, involve logistics facets, in particular the Logistics Chain, which runs from suppliers to customers.
EU logistics in a few figures
According to last studies on the EU logistics markets. The logistics operations (excluding in-house operations) were amounting to €878 billion (in 2012). This number has continued to grow during this past decade.
It is well known that this sector performs well on a global level as the World Bank « Connected to Compete » logistics performance index indicated.
The global top largest logistics service providers are all based in Europe. Six countries out of the global top-10 logistics performers are EU member States.
However, the performance varies across the Member States.
The EU average is 3.56 (out of 5) and it is Germany, which has the world’s highest-ranking. In the top-ranking we also fin the US with a score of 3.92 and the Japan 3.91
The future of logistics in Europe
Logistics is a very important part of e-commerce. E-commerce is growing fast, especially in recent years. That’s why it’s necessary to be aware of current trends in order to remain competitive.
More than 11 million people are employed in this European sector. And almost a quarter of these jobs can be found in the post and courier branches. The road is the biggest carrier of goods in terms of tonnage, with over 46 million tonnes carried daily.
All things aside, there are some major challenges ahead for road freight. Mileage tax and eco-tax are being rolled out in more European regions, which will add more costs to companies.
For this reason, the European Commission is promoting innovation with the Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan. That encourages the use of information and communication technologies in freight transport. It outlines the vision of paperless information flows accompanying the physical shipment of goods. It will also help make traffic management more efficient by promoting intelligent transport systems as well as facilitate the roll-out of innovative services.
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The European Commission provides many pieces of information about Mobility and transport. If you want to know more about this subject you can click here.
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