Transportation of high-value products such as computers requires adequate care, and delicate handling to prevent the damages and theft of some of the components(Eltantawy,2011). Transportation, in this case, is regarded as the movement of the product from one point to another while shipping primarily involves using the sea to avail the products to the predestined destination. In the wake of modern technology, large companies are increasingly getting attracted to the use of internet-based services and lightening the work by use of computers. The devices replace the demands of human labor, hence the generated interest to import computers, that are of high quality to handle the works that were previously done by people. Such, handling of the gadgets from the source, to the final destination requires a lot of care, which can only be guaranteed by proper logistics.
Among the things that are checked while shipping products are:proper labeling, maintaining the product’s quality, in this case, making sure there is zero damage on any software or hardware of the computers. These requirements entail the engagement of the professionals, who are experienced in logistics, to assure the client receives the product without defects. Along the path of importing the computers, which are primarily in demand in Australia due to the low cost in overseas countries, a lot of challenges are experienced, most of them emanating from the supply chain system. The trading ties and the requirement to prove the origin, destination, and compliances impact the whole system. This report will focus on the importation of computers and the various steps it undergoes accompanied by particular challenges while trying to reach the final consumer.
Transportation is the principal concern of the logistics, since if the company fails to plan its calculations well, it can operate on a loss. Taking into consideration that computers are valuable products and any mishandling can contribute to the huge loses, determining the personnel and the mode of transport is essential. As opposed to other less relevant products such as agricultural produces, the electronic deserve specialized transportation, that is efficient, fast, and well designed to minimize the collisions, which could damage the computers. Before the computers reach the final user in Australia, it has to pass through two terminals, one in Sydney Ports, and the other in a warehouse in Mayfield Industrial area of Newcastle. They are two optimal destinations, that can tamper with the machines, and affect their functionality in the right manner.
From the warehouse to Australia, the only option available to execute the transportation using air. Shan et al. (2011) noted that valuable products are easily and securely moved from one part to another by air because the system is considered more secure. This way, it would take less time in motion, thus minimizing the shocks that lower the efficiency. Before leaving the port, the logistics team checks the labels and ensures that the content described in the paper matches what is inside the packaging. In the same vein, a checklist of several elements such as ISO checklist, warehouse safety checklist, inventory management, among others are counterchecked(Schumann-Bolsche,2017). This ensures that the delivery is validated and eliminates the chances of the buyer receiving what they did not order. Similarly, sea transport would be the appropriate option to transport the computers to from the seller to Sydney port since a consignment of 40 footer container load is huge and shipping is the only cost effective method to transport at one go.
Moving the container from one place to another, especially in this case, where two stop points are involved is encompassed with the challenge of time delay. According to Eltantawy (2011) complexsupply chain is the system that mitigates the importers from consuming the overseas products. Reducing the time latency could increasingly save the importer the time and costs, which in most cases are hidden. One of the primary cause of the delay is experienced due to the custom inspection. This is a process that is randomly conducted at the port of loading and port of destination. As the computers fall under the products that are of high profile, inspection at the ports to check the compliance with the policies would lower the time it would take to reach the final user.
In the same vein, port congestion is another factor that can cause delays. This happens due to the constraint of space, thus reducing the clearance speed. The consequence is that it would take more time to receive the goods, which can heighten the chances of damaging computers, if not well packaged. Furthermore, the delays could be caused by bad weather while shipping the computers to Sydney Port. This could be fastened by having the correct documentation such as the bill of lading, certificate of origin, packing list among other elemental international documentation. If all the required information conforms to the set standards, shipping would take less time but otherwise could pose to be a challenge.
In the same vein, moving a load of computers from Sydney to Mayfield would require the use of a landform of transportation. This would entail specialized lorries, that are designed to safely transport the electronics. The major challenge could be bad weather, which would probably impede the movements.From the warehouse to Australia would demand more international documentation like the ones mentioned above, since the appropriate mode of transport is air. in this case delays are minimized, but incorrect documentation could be the problem.
Computers are fragile, high-value products, that require accurate and specialized handling. Shan et al. (2011) noted that various logistic companies understand the characteristics of the products, from which they select appropriate packaging. Specialist laptop transport boxes are utilized to pack the computers, whose characteristics are: inability to allow water, well evacuated from the external environment, and excellent sealant capability to avoid dust from getting in. After that, they are inserted in bigger boxes made of hardwood, that can be able to absorb shocks due to shaking while in transportation. Each huge box can be packed with several computers, while specialized laptop boxes are packed with a single machine. In the same vein, the boxes are labeled with barcodes that can be scanned to determine the content to minimize transportation delays.
For any business person, the underlying factor that should be considered before choosing an appropriate method of transport is the cost. According to Nikolaev (2008), cost entails all expenses, that are incurred from the time a buyer orders the products, to the point of collection. The bottom line of it all is that the business person wishes to make a profit, and therefore, adopting the cheapest mode of transport would help in making more profits. Among the two topmost choices are air transport and sea transport. Zerkte (2018) is of the idea that air transport is only applicable to small goods since everything is chargeable based on weight. In this case, the load is huge, and it might cost the buyer a lot of money. On the other hand, sea transport is appropriate in the sense that a huge load can be transported at one go, and at the same time cost the buyer less. Nikolaev (2008) is of the idea that air transport is the most convenient, since the products reach the buyer at a faster rate, as opposed to the sea transport which can take a number of days. Based on the description, the optimal choice to transport a full container to Sydney would be executed through the use of sea transport.
The other factor of consideration is the nature of the commodities. The previous paragraphs have shown that computers are fragile and of high quality, hence their handling require a form of moderation. Sea transport is slow, but the degree of damage is highly less. This is because the equipment sails on the sea, where there is less interruption and even the speed is low, hence minimizing the collisions among the individual computers. While air transport could be considered as the safest to transport products, the possible collision of the computers during landing and taking off might make the machines inefficient the moment they reach the buyer. The proposition is supported by Zsidisin & Ritchie (2009) who affirmed that a huge consignment is better transported by the sea, to allow the commodities to arrive at the destination safely. Also, air transport might lack specialized planes that can carry a huge load at one go.
The other factor, which is less considered by most of the buyers is the implication of the mode of transport to the environment (Shan et al.,2011). The researcher found that the rate of carbon dioxide emission by the planes is much higher, and has been the source of destruction of the stratospheric atmosphere. The higher the load, the more the emissions which later affect the human beings indirectly, especially through the destruction of the ozone layer. In regards to the environment, sea transport here was the most appropriate, as less harm is directed to the environment. Based on all the factors highlighted above, the most influential element is the cost. Any importer would like to save on cost, to heighten the profit margin
Logistics involves an understanding of all parties that are involved in supply chain management. For a buyer to get the ordered products, there has to be clear coordination, from the supplier and all the stoppage points that a product has to undergo through, to enhance the safety of the products as well as the quality. The observation made by Zerkte (2018) confirmed that most of the shipments that happen from abroad take time in the port due to laxity of the parties involved in the clearance. In the study conducted by Nikolaev (2008), the researcher propounded that managing the supply chain is an essential element in any logistics company since lack of which leads to misplacement and forwarding of wrong containers to the incorrect people.
One of the most important thing in a business is to understand the flow of the products that the customer demands in the market. Order management is the tracking of the movement of the goods, in relation to the demand of the customers. According to Nikolaev (2008), the core drivers of any business solely lies on the customers. The decision to import the products comes from a hike of demand, which supplement the importance of having accurate information before ordering any product. The researcher further noted that the nature of the product dictates the change in consumer behavior, which becomes key to making a decision to increase the stock.
This paper focuses on the importation of computers, which are basically for reselling in a business located in Australia. In regards to the classification of goods, they not perishable products neither are they fast moving. The implication here is that the computers could stay in the stores for a long period without being bought hence the need to understand the buying behavior of the local clients. The relationship between the buyer and the supplier in this case is optimal since the demand for computers is sometimes not so high. What the buyer in Australia could do is to establish a connection, which can be facilitated by the use of modern technology, whereby the supplier and buyer’s database can be integrated to monitor the stock. Such, an ERP system could highly help to ascertain when the buyer is out of stock, and also trace the customers’ tastes(Mattyssens,2007).
According to Eltantawy (2011), the rapid changes in technology make some of the commonly known brands of computers obsolete. As time progresses, more advanced machines are unveiled, and reliance on the old models is facing resistance from the customers. Such information is important if the buyer establishes it in advance. The similar information can be forwarded to the supplier, and consequently come up with an amicable solution to satisfy the demand of the customers. Since the shipment period is high, the buyer could study the market, and understand where to sell the computers, and even estimate the time it would take to clear the stock. Zerkte (2018) supports the argument by affirming that the best way to manage the orders is by utilization of data analytics. It entails consolidating of the views and feedbacks of the customer and making decisions out of the fact rather than speculations. Using this system is paramount because computers are expensive gadgets, and selling them might be a task in a market where the citizens already own them. It would take the courage of the buyer to integrate with the customers and establish what they look for when buying a computer.
Suppliers are key in ensuring that the customers are happy. This can only be achieved if the buyers understand where the products are ordered from, and enhance good communication to ensure that the quality of the products is high and meet the required standards(Schumann-Bolsche,2017). For effective supplier management, several steps have to be taken into consideration. The first one is negotiation, where the buyer engages a number of providers to establish an appropriate one. The requirements are laid clear and the expectation cutline made, to eliminate any form of the count. Like in this case, the buyer could have asked for particular brands of computers. From there, the suppliers are allowed to quote their prices and a deal is struck based on the agreed price. The second step is selection, which is basically choosing the right supplier, and later followed by collaboration and evaluation (Sodhi& Tang,2009). The process is followed to ensure that the buyer gets the right person to buy the computers from.
In order to ensure that the computers are delivered in the required time and the right quality is supplied, the right collaboration needs to maintained between the buyer and the supplier. It involves constant communication while the goods are on transit and availing of the information concerning every process that the products undergo before reaching the final buyer in Australia. The main challenge that comes in, in this case, is the continued maintenance of seamless communication since the companies involved in buying and selling are in different geographic locations (Hadaya & Cassivi,2009). Physical interaction is highly limited, which is difficult for the buyer to ascertain the actual quality of the computers ordered. Managing supplier management is the key thing that should be maintained in the scenario, to guarantee the buyer of receiving the goods safely and in the right quantity.
The aspect of quality in computers arise in the functionality and availability of all physical components. According to Shan et al. (2011), it is paramount for any imported product to undergo random checks, to ensure that whatever is brought from foreign lands conforms to the policies of the new land. The procedure is performed by a specialized department that is situated in the ports and performs the tests to ensure that the electronics and any other products meet the standards. At all the destinations: Sydney port, Warehouse in Mayfield and the port in Australia, the computers are subjected to checks to ascertain the nature of the products, and also check that the descriptions on the boxes conform to the packed products.
The assembled parts are checked to ensure that the components are not meant to pollute the environment. This is normally a random sampling, where some parts are checked to verify the component, in order to ensure that they are safe for the environment. Also, the physical appearances are conducted, aided by the stickers which identify the manufacturer, the date of manufacturing and the make. If the computers do not comply with the laws of the country of destination, they are held within the port until a claim is made or returned at the expense of the supplier to the country of origin(Olhager,2009).
In the same vein, the packaging materials are checked to determine whether the packing of the computers are done as recommended by the international shipping laws (Dyckhoff et al.,2013). This has been a point of concern for most of the nations because the suppliers sometimes package the products with covers that are not acceptable in the states of destination. This could be due to the fact that the packaging materials used are considered as an environmental threat to the buyer’s native country, hence the need to protect the buyer by making checks at the port. Furthermore, material handling is another element that is checked before the products are offloaded(Stannack,1996). As alluded in the prior paragraphs, computers are delicate and need to be packed in specialized bags, and later covered in a wooden box. This is because the offloading and loading is done by machines and any damage might be catered for by the logistic company. If there is any problem with the packaging, it can be identified before any process begins and appropriate action is taken, that would not harm the buyer and the seller at the same time.
Risk management is mandatory for any overseas business because the buyer entirely relies on hope to receive the ordered products. According to Zerkte (2018), any business should have a workable strategy to minimize the perils that happen in the process of being availed to the buyer. Of the discussed modes of transport, it was evident that sea transport possesses a huge risk, because it takes time on the sea, hence not very reliable. The imminent risk due to the long duration of transportation is prone to natural disasters. For example, the ship could sink resulting in destruction of all products, which is a loss to the buyer and the seller. Also, Nikolaev (2008) noted that transporting goods through the sea serves as a chance for the smugglers of illegal goods to find an opportunity to transport their commodities. When such an incident is discovered, the products(computers) might be withheld, and both parties held liable for dealing with illegal goods. In the same vein, the longtime of transport exposes the computers to theft, since the owner has no access to them until the day of harboring. Due to these reasons, security measures have to be taken into consideration, to guarantee the buyer of receiving the ordered goods (Hadaya & Cassivi,2009). In order to prevent the sea perils, some of the strategies that could be adopted include having marine cargo insurance and a comprehensive insurance policy that covers the cargo and people on board.
The government plays an instrumental role, in ensuring that the products imported from other countries meet the specifications of the country(Stannack,1996). This can be done, by informing the laws and scrutinizing the goods without assuming the content. Such, complex requirements at the border require the involvement of international logistic companies, that understand the necessities of every country. They help in providing the buyer with the necessary information to assist in the presentation of all documentation needed in the supply chain process. For example, the Australian government requires individuals to self asses their imported products, and provide accurate information. If by any chance that misleading information is provided, the buyer is subjected to hefty fine and punishment.
Shipping of products from overseas involves a lot of logistics in the supply chain management. This being from the port of origin to the final destination, before the buyer takes the full authority of the goods. This paper elucidates that the entire process is faced by the challenge of delays, due to the verification of documents at the ports, and checking the content of the containers. Also, the mode of transport adopted dictates the length it would take for a product to reach the final consumer. The reviewed case established that sea transport is primarily slow compared to air transport. In importation of computers, specialized boxes are needed to pack individual computers, and later crammed together in a huge wooden box, that is resistant to shocks and vibrations. The choice of such a packaging increases the safety of computers, that are expensive and can easily damage in the process of transportation. Withal, the paper highlights that order and supplier management are important in ordering the computers, with regards to the prevailing market. As computers are not fast moving goods, having an idea of what the customers require in new computers assists in understanding the market in a deeper manner. Likewise, the quality control checks that are needed in validating the computers are: physical appearances, manufacturing data, and the safety of the component in relation to the environment. Finally, the security of the computers while being transported via the sea was cited as an important point of consideration. All parties-government, buyer and supplier should cooperate to ensure that the ordered container contains products stipulated in the pro forma invoice. This paper has clearly illustrated that the idea of buying goods from international markets encompasses a lot of stages, which consume time and at the same time money. Proper planning is needed, and a good market survey conducted to establish a selling niche. For proper monitoring of the stock, the buyer and the supplier should maintain a long-lasting relationship in business.
Dyckhoff, Harald, et al. Supply Chain Management and Reverse Logistics. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Eltantawy, R. (2011). Supply Management Governance Role in Supply Chain Risk Management and Sustainability. Supply Chain Management – New Perspectives.
Hadaya, P., &Cassivi, L. (2009). The Role of Knowledge Sharing in a Supply Chain. Supply Chain Management and Knowledge Management, 19-39.
Matthyssens, P. (2007). Method paradigms in purchasing and supply management: Analogizing from the (old) debate in management and marketing. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 13(3), 219-220.
Nikolaev, K. O. (2008). Measures of Russian Federation on Enhancement of Transport Security at Sea. Maritime Security – Current Problems in the Baltic Sea, 126-130.
Olhager, J. (2009). Linking Product, Supply Chain, Process and Manufacturing Planning and Control Design. Supply Chain Management and Knowledge Management, 124-136.
Schumann-Bölsche, D. (2017). Information Technology in Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management. The Palgrave Handbook of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 567-590.
Shan, L., Zhang, Z., and Wang, X. (2011). Integration of Logistics Resources Based on Logistics Network. Contemporary Logistics, 51-56.
Sodhi, M. S., & Tang, C. S. (2009). Managing Supply Chain Disruptions via Time-Based Risk Management. Managing Supply Chain Risk and Vulnerability, 29-40.
Stannack, P. (1996). Purchasing power and supply chain management power—two different paradigms? —a response to Ramsay’s ‘Purchasing power’ (1995). European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 2(1), 47-56.
Zerkte, K. (2018). Importance of Information technologies and systems (ITS) in the traceability of the supply chain. 2018 International Colloquium on Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LOGISTIQUA).
Zsidisin, G. A., & Ritchie, B. (2009). Supply Chain Risk Management – Developments, Issues and Challenges. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, 1-12.