Types of material flows - Logistics

3.2. Types of material flows

Material flows are defined as cargoes considered in the process of applying various logistical operations to them. A wide variety of cargo and logistics operations complicates the study and management of material flows. Solving a specific problem, it is necessary to clearly identify which flows are being investigated. In solving some problems, the object of investigation may be the cargo considered in the process of applying a large group of operations. For example, when designing a distribution distribution network and determining the number and location of warehouses. At the decision of other problems (for example, at the organization of intra-warehouse logistical process) each operation is in detail studied.

Material flows are divided into the following basic attributes :

o relation to the logistics system;

o the natural-real composition of the flow;

o the number of cargoes forming the flow;

o specific gravity of the cargo-forming cargo;

o degree of compatibility of goods;

o The consistency of the goods.

In relation to the logistics system , the material flow can be: external, internal, input and output.

External material flow takes place in an external environment for the enterprise. This category is not composed of any goods moving outside the enterprise, but only those to which the organization relates.

The internal material flow is formed as a result of carrying out logistic operations with cargo inside the logistics system.

The input material flow enters the logistic system from the external environment.

The output material flow comes from the logistics system to the external environment. For a wholesale company, it can be determined by adding the material flows that occur when carrying out operations for loading various types of vehicles.

If you store stocks in the enterprise at the same level, the input material flow will be equal to the output.

In terms of the natural-material composition material flows are divided into single-assortment and multi-assortment. This separation is necessary, since the assortment of the flow significantly affects the work with it. For example, the logistics process in the wholesale food market, selling meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and groceries, will differ significantly from the logistics process in the potato storage facility, which operates with one cargo name.

On a quantitative basis material flows are massive, large, medium and small.

Mass is the flow that occurs during the transportation of goods not by a single vehicle, but by their group, for example, a train or several dozen cars, a convoy of vehicles, a caravan of ships, etc.

Large flows - several cars, cars.

Small flows form quantities of goods that do not allow full use of the carrying capacity of the vehicle and require combining with other, associated cargoes during transportation.

Average flows occupy the gap between large and small. These include the flows that form the goods arriving by single cars or cars.

According to the specific gravity of the flow of goods, material flows are classified into heavy and lightweight.

Heavy-weight flows ensure full use of the carrying capacity of vehicles, require a smaller storage volume for storage. Heavy-weight flows form cargoes in which the mass of one place exceeds 1 ton (for water transport) and 0.5 tons (for transportation by rail.) Examples of a heavy-weight flow are the metals considered during transport.

Lightweight flows are represented by cargoes that do not allow full use of the carrying capacity of transport. One ton of lightweight cargo weighs more than 2 m (for example, tobacco products form lightweight streams during transportation).

Compatible and incompatible material flows are allocated by the degree of compatibility that create the flow of goods.

This attribute is taken into account mainly during transportation, storage and handling of food products.

For the consistency of cargo there are material flows of bulk, bulk, packaged and bulk cargo.

Bulk goods (for example, grain) are transported without packaging. Their main property is flowability. They can be transported in specialized vehicles: bunker type cars, open wagons, on platforms, in containers, in cars.

Bulk cargo (salt, coal, ore, sand, etc.), usually of mineral origin. They are transported without packaging, some can be frozen, caked, caked. Just like the previous group, they have flowability.

Tarno-piece goods have a variety of physicochemical properties, specific weight, volume. This can be loads in containers, boxes, bags, goods without containers, lengthy and oversized loads.

Bulk cargoes are cargoes carried in bulk in tanks and tankers. Logistic operations with bulk cargo (for example, reloading, storage, etc.) are carried out with the help of special technical means.

Schematically, the classification of material flows is shown in Fig. 16.

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