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You are here: E-learning / Course Library Premium / Physical Supply and Distribution

Physical Supply and Distribution

Moving goods in the distribution chain

Physical supply and distribution includes all the activities involved in moving goods, both from the supplier to the beginning of the production process and from the end of the production process to the consumer.

The objective of distribution management is to design and operate a distribution system that attains the required level of customer service and does so at least cost.

Objectives: The purpose of the course is to provide you with profound insights into how to ensure that goods arrive at the warehouse of the production process or from the end of the production process to the consumer in an optimal way.


Participants: People working with production planning and development, inventory management, purchasing, sourcing, distribution, transportation, sales and other business professionals wanting to improve their skills in physical supply and distribution.

Qualifications: Participants should have knowledge of basic logistic principles, production planning, distribution and inventory administration.

Training Method: Physical Supply and Distribution is a Premium course and is studied over the internet via our e-learning platform Instant education. Read more about the training method E-learning - Premium courses.

Course Length: Approximately 25 hours active study time, depending on previous knowledge. Each student has access to the course for 6 months.

Price: 510 Euro / student
566 USD / student

Prices excluding VAT.
For large-scale education projects request quotation.

Online price:

408 EURO / student
453 USD / student

Prices excluding VAT.

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Course contents:

Part 1

Managing the Operation

Planning for and controlling the resources used in the process to get the most value out of them.

Conflicts in Objectives

Often a departmental objective is maximized without considering the effect it has on other parts of the company.

Materials Management Responsibility

Materials management views material flows as an interlinkt system.

Movement of Materials

Activities involved in moving goods from the supplier to the consumer

Physical Distribution

Distribution adds place value and time value by placing goods in markets where they are available.

Physical Distribution System

There are interrelated activities that affect customer service and the cost of providing it.

Interfaces in Distribution Chain

Physical distribution provides a bridge between marketing and production

Warehouse Management

The objective of a warehouse is to minimize cost and maximize customer service.

Warehouse Activities

Operating a warehouse involves several processing activities.

Warehouse Utilization and Accessibility

Warehouse capacity depends on how high goods can be stored

Stock Location System

Stock location is concerned with the location of individual items in the warehouse

Basic Systems for Assigning Location

There are two basic systems for assigning specific locations to individual stock.

Order Picking and Assembly

An order is retrieved from the warehouse, assembled and prepared for shipment.

Packaging of Products

The basic role of packaging is to carry the goods safely through a distribution system to the customer

Load Planning

Loading load carriers requires good planning for good results.

Basic Rules for Loading and Securing

Important rules from a transport engineering and traffic safety standpoint.

Unitization of Goods

Unitization is the consolidation of several units into large units, called unit loads.

Materials Handling in Warehousing

Materials handling is the short-distance movement that takes place in a plant or distribution center

Part 2

Warehousing and Distribution

The role of warehouses in a physical distribution system is presented.

Role of Warehouses

Warehouses serve three important roles.

Warehousing and Transportation Costs

Any distribution system should try to provide the highest service level at the lowest possible cost.

Market Boundaries

It is the line between two or more supply sources where the laid-down cost is the same.

Distribution centers and transportation costs

As more distribution centers are added, the savings in transportation costs decrease

Multi-Warehouse Systems and Costs

The result of adding more distribution centers to the physical distribution system.

System Service Capability

It can be estimated by the percentage of the market served within a given period by the distribution system

Physical Elements of Carriage

To provide transportation service, any carrier, whatever mode, must have certain basic physical elements

Transportation by Mode

The carriers of transportation can be divided into five basic modes.

Transportation Cost Elements

There are four basic cost elements in transportation

The Purchase of Transportation Services

Use of transportation services involves a form of purchasing.

Shipping Terms

A number of terms are used in international trade to describe sellers' and buyers’ rights, duties and risks.

Part 3

Supply and Demand Patterns

If supply met demand exactly, there would be little need for inventory.

Functions of Inventories

Inventories can be classified according to the function they perform.

Objectives of Inventory Management

The objectives a company should have if it wants to maximize profit.

Distribution Inventory

The purpose of holding inventory in distribution centers is to improve customer service.

Distribution Inventory Management Systems

Distribution requirements planning system is one of the three distribution inventory management systems.

Production and Distribution Chain

There is a pattern of inventories functioning as buffers between links in the distribution chain.

Transportation and Information Technology

Transportation is a network of instantaneous coordination of many activities across international borders

Changes in Logistics Needs

Logistics needs are more complex with transport chains combining techniques and information processes.

Organization of Shippers

The processes of production should be controlled in relation to the whole logistics chain

Distribution Structure

Logistics is a strong changing factor in distribution structures

Evolution in Transportation Structures

Changes in logistics activities are typically demand-driven which the transportation companies respond to

Hub-and-Spoke Systems

This form of organization has extended to all modes, and especially to road transport.

Quantifying Transportation Services

Transportation services can be described using the different parameters

Logistics and Transportation Demand

The companies´ material supply and the need for transportation have changed because of the globalized market.

Types of Transport Networks

In general, five types of transport network can be distinguished.

Developments in Transportation Supply

New technology within transportation and information exchange effects the operations

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