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2010, vol. 58, iss. 1, pp. 113-128
Clarification of a term transport chain
Vojna akademija, Katedra logistike, Beograd
Keywords: transport chain; supply chain; logistic chain; optimization of transport chains
INTRODUCTION This paper describes a few different approaches to define the terms 'transport chain' and 'supply chain' aiming at their clarification. TERM TRANSPORT CHAIN The author gives a survey of 'transport' definitions from international, civilian and military, and national literature. Then he gives his definition of a transport chain as a sequence of overall operations, necessary for exchange of goods in time and space within the framework of goods flow during transit from the source to the consumption point. The transport chain is connected neither with the limits of production organizations, particular industrial branches nor other structures of national economy. Transport chains also exist in the Army of Serbia (AS). Optimization of transport chains during peace time has a goal to enable easy and fast selection of an optimal transportation chain. DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES IN DEFINING THE TERMS OF LOGISTIC, SUPPLY AND TRANSPORT CHAIN Modern authors define differently the terms which generally represent similar processes and activities while having almost an identical function. These terms are logistic chain, supply chain and transport chain. For better clarification, these terms are compared herein. Term supply chain The terms supply and supply chain dominate in world literature, as well as supply chain management (SCM), as a specific scientific field. This field is subject to special attention due to its importance in decision-making processes, both strategic and tactical, in companies of all sizes. The Army of Serbia uses the old definition of the term supply, previously used in logistic support, although the AS system of supply with goods and services has moved to logistics principles. The old definition itself, being general and wide enough, is not outdated, so it can be accepted as valid. Term logistic chain The definition of the concept of logistics is followed by the definition of the term logistic chain. Contemporary world literature operates predominantly with the terms supply chains and supply chain management - SCM, rarely with the term logistic chain, which is defined in national literature by several authors. Differences and similarities of notions of transport chain, supply chain and logistic chain It can be noticed that in all chains there are processes such as ordering, packaging, handling (loading, unloading or reloading), transport and storage, with all the activities that are necessary in the implementation of such processes. Also, the elements that realize the processes are similar or the same in all these forms of chains. The objective of all these chains is distribution of goods from the source to the abyss of goods that may be of different forms. However, differences exist when comparing realization subjects as well as organizations that deal with chains. The primary division concerns structures and hierarchy of organizations dealing with chains as well as quantity and quality of information they have at their disposal. The term transport chain is more often applied for physical distribution while the terms of supply and logistic chains are applied from the system, i.e. company's, point of view. The term SCM applies when dealing with overall network of a country/ region, especially with and within international companies. ORGANIZATION AND OPTIMIZATION OF TRANSPORT CHAINS Transport chains are characterized by two main features-technical technological and organizational connection. These two features also characterize the distinction between transport systems and subsystems of the transport chain. Technical-technological connecting of activities in the chain conditions the compatibility of technical resources engaged. Organizational connecting of procedures is carried out by the coordination of information management systems as well as by the coordination of legal and commercial work areas. Transport chains are connected to neighboring systems and the production and consumption of goods. Transport chains optimization Research and identification of optimal transport chain design methods is of considerable significance for the optimization of transport processes. Procedures and means necessary for transport chain functioning are considered as elements while the relations among these elements are conceived as technological and economic relations within a system. Therefore, harmonization of system elements represents the basic function of determining optimal solutions for the implementation of the transport chain. Minimal costs and sometimes minimum time are the optimality and cost-effectiveness criterion for transport chains. Supply chain management (SCM) - explanation of the term Supply chain management is actively managing the activities and relationships of a supply chain to maximize product value and to achieve competitive advantage for a reasonable buyer. It represents constant efforts of companies, or groups of companies, to develop and realize supply chains in the most efficient and most effective way possible. Optimization of logistic chains Optimization of the logistic chain is inseparable from the optimization of logistic systems that are bearers of its realization. Tendencies in optimization of logistic chains and systems change. The projected goal is not any more to better exploit storage capacity, motor pools, loading and transportation systems, but to offer logistic service at request, with the least amount of costs, investments, logistic system capacities, with the shortest reaction time possible and the highest possible quality. CONCLUSION It can be therefore concluded that there are no major differences in the definitions of transport, logistic or supply chains, and that the key difference is in the level of hierarchy, which requires different information when making decisions. Hence the difference in these terms, but in principle the need for optimization is the same. The same or similar methods of optimization are used, and a key premise in optimization is that chains must be considered and optimized in their entity, not by elements, i.e. segments. If all the individual chain elements are optimized, it does not mean that the whole chain is optimized.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Professional Paper
DOI: 10.5937/vojtehg1001113C
published in SCIndeks: 13/07/2010

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