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National logistics refer to the distribution of goods within a country and involves a process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and distributed to their final destination. The management of these logistics involves identifying potential distributors and suppliers and deciding on their accessibility and effectiveness.

International logistics is the management process of planning, executing, and controlling both the physical and informative flow of materials from the point of origin across more than one international border to the final destination.

What is the difference between national and international logistics? Find out more here…

Management aspects

National logistics companies have one logistics manager who supervises and manages all the planning and implementation related to the movement of goods. This movement is easily tracked as there are just two points of operation – the shipper and the recipient.

International logistics will employ a corporate logistics manager who coordinates activities with other managers. This operation known as international freight forwarding will have a manager with detailed plans of the complex steps involved in the distribution processes.

Document requirements

With national shipping, you’ll be asked to provide a shipping label and occasionally optional extras such as certified tracking and careful handling.

International shipping has obligations to provide documents like commercial invoices with codes allocated for each item of the shipment, a packing list, and electronic export information for valuable shipments. Customs departments will collect taxes on imports and exports and will need assurance that the goods aren’t restricted or limited for the particular country that goods are being delivered to.

Freight forwarder support

International logistics companies work alongside various travel companies to get the most suitable services and options on your behalf. Your chosen freight forwarder will facilitate and manage your shipment and will:

  • Track the shipments and provide you with updates
  • Provide integrated logistics services such as export packing, insurance, and customs clearance
  • Arrange warehousing and local transportation to the final destination
  • Lower costs as part of their speciality service

Logistics companies in Barcelona, for example, will provide an all-in-one solution for transport, logistics, and consultancy. You’ll get the most efficient and cost-effective resolutions for supply chains, multimodal freight shipping, and any other specific demands of the market place you’re dealing with. Short or long-term warehousing will fit seamlessly in with other logistics with convenient and competitive storage options.

National transportation modes

National transportation companies can use a variety of transportation methods for moving goods as detailed below:

Road transportation is often favoured over rail. Trucks are used for the distribution of goods from manufacturing units and warehouses to stores around the country. There are many advantages in using trucks including:

  • Cost-effectiveness as vehicle costs are low and expansion can be made within any budget
  • Delivery is speedy as long as the road network is good
  • Ongoing location of goods is simple to monitor
  • Communication with the driver is easy
  • Short distances don’t pose any problems

Rail transportation is popular for long-distance shipping and used for the distribution of heavy goods that need to be moved safely. Goods normally finish the journey on a truck to get into the allocated stores. Benefits of using rail transport consist of:

  • A more environmentally friendly mode of transport
  • Reliability and efficiency of the service
  • Options that provide access to greater capacity
  • Lower fuel costs when shipping a high volume of freight
  • Trains aren’t hindered by traffic and weather

International transportation methods

International transport and logistics modes are used to distribute goods globally – by sea or by air. Sea shipping will be through linear ships that travel on regular routes and are scheduled at determined ports. Or via container ships that travel to the destination where the cargo needs to be delivered. The pros of sea shipping cover:

  • The ability to ship large volumes at low costs
  • Shipping containers can be used for further transportation
  • Sea freight shipping can be up to six times less expensive than air
  • Ships are designed to carry hazardous materials and dangerous cargo safely

Air transportation can be expensive but is suitable for goods that need immediate delivery. Air freighters, Charters, and passenger planes are all used for this method of transportation. The plusses of air freight are:

  • It’s the fastest method of transport available, especially over long distances
  • Airfreight shipments are highly reliable and extremely secure
  • You can easily track your goods ongoing
  • Remote destinations are not a problem – you can ship your goods almost anywhere

National and international logistic costs

Factors that influence both logistical options include outlays for transportation, manpower, storage facilities, and technology. Other costs cover:

  • Time investment in goods
  • Marketing, identifying, recording, analysis and data transfer
  • Information and telecommunications integration
  • Inventory risk costs
  • Any indirect expenses

International freight forwarding may have additional costs such as tariffs, taxes, currency exchange, and fluctuations in fees.