How the supply chain can be inefficient due to the 8 wastes (MUDA)

In Supply Chain, there is a lot of work that goes from the placing of orders of products to the delivery of the materials to the customer and therefore if the following wastes are not controlled, the chain can become very inefficient on the way.

1. TransportUnnecessary movement of materials, parts of the finished product to / from the warehouse, to / from other areas or processes.

2. Inventory – Excessive storage of raw material or materials, product in process and finished product.

3. Motion – Any physical movement or displacement that the personnel perform that does not add value to the product or service.

4. Waiting – Staff waiting for information, work instructions, materials, parts or tools needed to perform their work; Clients or visitors waiting to be served; Pieces waiting to continue processing; Machinery stopped by faults,

5. Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required. Process items earlier or in greater quantity than the one required by the client.

6. Over processing – Perform unnecessary or non-valuable procedures: counting, accommodating, inspecting, reviewing or duplicating processes. Use inappropriate tool or equipment, develop features or functions in products that are not valued by customers, etc.

7. Defects – Correction of errors and re-work derived from the identification of nonconformities or returns of the customer, destroy or re-process products that do not meet the optimal conditions of quality, etc.

8. Skills – Do not take advantage of the creativity and intelligence of employees, their skills and potential to eliminate waste, improve productivity, solve quality problems and innovate.



Lunar space elevator

Since 19th century, an elevator as a transport to the space has been a dream, something unrealistic, according to Elon Musk (click on the name to check the video). Well probably it was some years ago, but thanks to nanotechnology advances it has become already a project.

A project hold by a japanese company named Obayashi corporation, who plans to start the construction in 2025, wants to create an elevator from earth to the moon. It will allow transporting cargo and humans into space, being able to save up to 90% of space transport costs of payloads. It consists in a 96.000 km long nanotube cable. Just the cable could take 20 years to build.

Next video shows virtually how it would be and gives some interesting information  (some already mentioned) about the project and the material needed.

Nowadays it is just a project, a lot of sceptics argue against the viability of the project, others trust on the team behind it. But avoiding this information, Can you imagine how this project could change the spacial logistics forever? It could avoid the use of rockets, it could hugely reduce transportation costs, it could help us to reach easier spacial research, and so on.

Is it feasible? What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know your opinion.


The queueing problem that affect us every friday.


Last friday we were wainting for take our lunch in the Trinquet Restaurant. And Arguisti say to me that it could be a good example that we should study in this blog or in class. So I ask him if i could write it, and he gives me the OK.


Firstly, I would explain the human resources that they have:

Human resources:

3 cookers that they elaborate breakfast, mid-morning meal, lunch, and afternoon snack. They start at 8 am. and they end at 17h. (8 hours and 1 hour to eat)

6 waiters that they arrive at different hours and they go home after its 9 hours (7.30-16.30, 8.00- 17.00, 9.00-18.00, 9.30-18.30, 10.00-18.00 and 11.00-20.00). This strategy allows it to have the restaurant opened from 8 am till 20h  and  the full staff working at the peak hour from 14.00 to 15.00.



In the next image we can observe the layout of Trinquet’s restaurant. Firstly, there is the kitchen where the 3 cookers receive the food, store it and cook it. Secondly, in the public place, there is one place to take one dish menu or sandwitches which is served by 2 waiters. One coffee and snacks place served by one waiter. And another place where the students take their menu by two waiters. Finally, there is a place, tipically for teachers, where one waiter serve the menu for them.


The peak hour

In this peak hour, the time that you spend from you arrive to the menu’s queue, till you pay it’s about 15 min. If you arrive earlier (14h) or later (15h) you will spend between 10 and 15 minutes and if you arrive at 14.30, you could spend almost 20 min.

As I said earlier, the menu’s place is served by 2 waiters that they have to serve, refill when they run out of something and collect the money. So it makes big queues at the peak hour. How we can see in the next images:

Making the queue:


Waiting for been served (nobody there)


Waiting for pay our menu (waitress, refilling desserts)IMG_20170324_143725

¿Possible solutions?

One thing that they already do very well is that cookers bring the food to the showcase. Avoiding that one of the waiters has to go for it.

Some possible solutions could be:

-The coffee waiter could help to refill or collect money to the menu place.

-Put in a paper, near the cash machine that the price is 4.90€, with two dishes, dessert and water, and it you take another drink 5.20€. This way, no-frequently students could know how much it is, and have the money prepared.

Hire one more person, could be a student for working from 14h till 15h, 13h till 15h or 13h till 16h.

We hope that this post makes you think about possible solutions in order to collect them and explain it to the restaurant Staff.

Best layouts for effective learning

One of the things that our Logistics teacher emphasizes more is the layout of the classroom – as well as our group layouts.  So trying to find which layout would be the best, I have found that there is no a perfect layout, because each of them are useful for different situations, and its election depend on what do you want to transmit and on how do you want to do it.

Traditional classroom (Medium group involvement)

In a tradional class all the desks are facing the chalkboard and teachers desk. The layout is suitable for teacher centered classes such as lectures.

Advantages Disadvantages
Good view of the front of the room Hard for instructor to move into the audience
Allows the instructor a great deal of control over the students Loss of attention in the last rows
Provides space for writting or using a computer

Resultado de imagen de classroom layout

U-shaped (High group involvement)

For smaller classes that want more interaction between the student and educator, a U-Shaped layout is a better option.

Advantages Disadvantages
Easy to see and hear everyone in the group Requires a lot of space
Encourages unity and participation Can only be applied in small groups

Circle arrangements (High group involvement)

Desks or chairs arranged in a circle or half circle promote community and encourage all students to participate.

Advantages Disadvantages
People are unobstructed and can speak directly to each other Can only be applied in small groups
Creates equality among the group, with no designated “leader” position Not conducive to visual aids or digital presentations

If you want to know more about this and find variations of the presented layout do not hesitate to visit the source:

Design, LayOut and Distribution

The supply system plays an important role since it has evolved as warehouse facilities to become centers focused on the service and support of the organization. A warehouse and an efficient distribution center have a fundamental impact on the overall success of the logistics chain. Therefore it must be designed according to the level of the manufacture of the product, using the necessary tools, be supported by an excellent layouts, information system and distribution.

The objectives of design and layOut in a company or business are to improve and facilitate the speed of preparation of the most efficient products or services, precision and distribution. All these characteristics focused on achieving the competitive advantages within the strategic plan of the organization thus obtaining a better pace in its services and satisfying the client.

There are a number of principles at the time of making a good distribution:

– Large moving items should be near the exit to save time.
– Transporting uncomfortable articles and difficult to move to an area that minimize work.
– The spaces must be efficiently established in order to easily obtain our materials.
– Chemicals must be located outside the work area
– All materials that require it must be identified and protected.
– All components against fire and safety must be located according to their scope.

Below we will see a brief video where it shows us how the requirements in the execution of a wholesale distribution to the right people, the right product and in the right time.



The general focus for the effect of  the distribution of work centers is to order workplace with similar processes in order to optimize their relative location. In many facilities optimum location often means that large volume work centers between departments are placed side by side.

In my years of experience, I have been able to know the different basic formats of distribution can be: Distribution by functions, assembly line and distribution by project.

Distribution by functions, occur when a group of functions or similar equipment, are located in the same are of work in the company. The parts in production advance with a preset sequence of each operation. This type of distribution is common in Hospitals (maternity rooms, intensive care unit).

A good example of this distribution, was the one known through the visit to FORD company, where the work areas are divided by specific functions, (Painting, welding, molding, mechanics). But also they have a assembly lines at the end of the production chain.

The assembly lines, are present when the route of the product or the parts that compose it are in straight line while the transformation or assambly occurs, such as car washes. This is very used in large volumes of production, specially in textile factories or production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The distribution by project, in this case the product stays fixed in a place during its manufacture and the production equipment goes to the product. This is common in products with a high weight, as a boat manufacturing amd plane manufacturing.

Cells (Celdas)

This is a hybrid between assanble lines and work centers (distribution by functions). It is widely applied because of its flexibility to work and maximum utilization of human labor. The image shows some of the ways that improvements to assembly lines can take.


My purpose with this topic is, recommend to all the class group the use of U-cells to facilitate human relations, improve the experience of each participant, have less material on the study table and prepare faster assignments made in class.

Reference: Operations management (Production and supply chain) Chase, Richard ; 2009


Theory of Queuing

For the queuing task I explored an everyday life problem. While dancing in a club you get thirsty and you want to get a drink. There are 2 bars, one with 10 people standing in a row and one with 10 people creating a crowd and are “fighting” to get a drink. Which bar should I choose?

Regarding to a SPIEGEL article scientist Refael Hassin (iniversity of Tel Aviv) says the crowded bar is the better one. While you know in a sorted queue you will be the eleventh one, in the crowded bar you have a good chance to get your drink earlier.

The hardest thing to calculate is in every situation the influence of the luck/chance, which makes every case complex. Regarding to our students perspective this can be a damage of an airplane you wanted to use or if in the queue of your supermarket someone wants to return a product.

A solution of the supermarket queue already exists. According to the scientist Alexander Herzog (University Clausthal) only one big queue instead of many small queues (Multi-Queues) is the smartest way. The system is used  at German Post,  or at airports.



Sport cloths: Decathlon VS Corte de Inglés

For the queueing task out of our MGEPS class ‘Logistics’ I chose an area with a possible real life customer experience. For my daily running I was needing an additional sports shorts.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-29 um 12.23.18

For me as a student and customer the price was the main factor. I bought a shorts at Decathlon for 12 EUR. I also was buying a portable backpack, which I was seeing next to the queue (20-Liters-backpack, so small that you can pack it in one hand, for 3€). The system and the structure worked well for me. Through watching all the small and cheap products next to the line, the waiting time in the queue was on a emotional side of view suddenly finished for me. If I would want to spent more money for an important prodcut for longterm use and with the need of expert consulting, I would probably go to the Sports Department of Corte de Inglés.

Drone technology in logistics

Since we saw in the UPV lecture “Innovation Management” a youtube video about amazon using drones for delivering (Amazon Prime Air) I was interested in the future-use of drones in the daily live. This example impressed me a lot. Therefore I was looking for additional sources of information. I am happy to share this in my short blog-impression.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-27 um 15.53.55.png

But how does it acutally work – catching loads and deliver them?

At the beginning of 2015 the Fraunhofer IML (A German public-science-institution) filed a patent for a load bearing system. The basic idea here is to collect and deliver loads, especially with drones, autonomously. This was the missing piece of puzzles for the economic transport of goods with drones. The system consists an adapter that can be clicked into the strapping band and the actual load pickup. This is equipped with a camera and finds a code on the adapter, identifies it and then uses it for adjustment on it. The load receptacle is mechanically supported by a funnel. In addition to the dron-integrated application, other applications are also conceivable for intelligent load sensing. Thus, e.g. Can be used to support the gripping of a crane in order to relieve the crane operator.

I am excited to see how further drone-innovations in delivering and transporting in the next years will look like. There might be a post-office-drone with a person sitting inside, right?! Will there be a lisence necessary or will the drone guide autonomosly? It is a very interesting field of development!

This might be, in some years, our new ‘pizza-boy’:

I hope you guys enjoyed that post. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate and ask me. – Thank you. Marius

Why is important to have an appropriate Layout?

Although we had change our classroom layout to have a better way to work, every class there are little inconvenience with it.

Imagen relacionada   ———->  Resultado de imagen de layout de un salon de clases

Having a proper layout is very important for many factors. In my last job I was process engineer and I was in charge to modify the layout of the production lines if it was necessary. Also when a line would start to produce a new design I had have to create the most appropriate layout for it.

A correct layout determine in some cases the efficiency in long term of many operations. It can helps to balance the production line. The main objectives of having a good layout are the following:

1-Greater and better use of space, people and equipment

2- An improvement in the flow of information, people and materials

3-A greater flexibility, that is, the layout must be prepared to be changed with agility at any time

4-Provide to the employees safely areas of work

A good layout follows rules and has a logical structure. Doesn’t matter where we are, all places are created by a layout and depending on it, it would be: office, warehouse, production line, and others such as our classroom case. Having U’s cells is most of the time the most successful way. Now we know why is important to have a good layout to reach more productive results.





What stressful are queues!

All of us in any moment of our life have been in a long line that make us stressful, angry and also uncomfortable. At the first years of my college I used to be more than two hours in a line to pay the semester. Here a real image of it:

Resultado de imagen de FILAS para pagar en la uasd


It was obviously that they didn’t analyse how to solve this problem during many years that occurred this amazing situation. Now the lines are not that long because we can pay by an electronic system. The queue system is influences by three factors, those are: length, number of lines and queue discipline, but this factors are not only in this case, are in all cases in any place.

Length: refers to lines finite or infinite, finite is a limited set of customers who use the system and occasional would create a line. An infinite one is a very long line related to the service system.

Number of lines: refers to have just a line because you have just a person who can provide the service or have many line (2, 3, 4, etc.) to bring a better customer service.

Queue discipline: refers to a rule or a set of rules that determine the priority order that will be provide to all the customers in the line. The most common rule is the first inside, the first outside, but also people with special conditions would be part of this rule.

Long queues are difficult problems not only to the customers that are waiting in it, also for the person in-charge to solve it is a frustrated situation. But all company that wants to be every day more competitive have to work with this uncomfortable moment. They should not just analyse the factors before mentioned, they also can try with the different queue models and apply the most suitable depending of the kind of service.




Milar’s distribution Network

Milar is a spanish appliances wholesale “cooperative”. They sell a lot of different brands in more than 400 stores.

Each Milar store is privately owned by different owners, but they work logistically together under the same brand.

These 400 stores are splited in the whole national territory, and this territory is divided per regions. In each region exists a central warehouse where products are stocked and ready to be soldin stores.

Therefore, there are different levels of logistics in this company that make him pretty interesting to analyze it quickly.

Since they sell a lot of different brand,they work with a lot of suppliers that are mainly connected with the wharehouse and Milar’s central purchase department. This department forecasts the quantity demanded according to seasonality and trends, in order to be accurate and provide a huge availability of products to their retailers.

Let’s see in the next picture how its distribution network works:


These are the different steps of the logistic process:

Step 1

Manufacturers of different appliances and different brads, send the products to Milar warehouses after order.

Step 2

Products are stocked in regional warehouse. Milar has several warehouses strategically located to serve all the stores regionally.

Step 3

Stores of the region makes orders to the warehouse. Stores carry the transport from warehouse to the store.

Step 4

Customer buys in the store or online. If online, they can A receive the products at home (pay the transport) or B at the store (free transport).


So this is how Milar’s distribution network and how a big company operates logistically. But what’s the secret connected to all these different elements interacting in the process? They have a taylor-made inventory software that let’s the information flow between warehouse, retailers and online customers.


Interviews to different Milar retailers.

Distribution Network of Hindustan Uni Lever (HUL)

Sustainable Living is more than just a slogan for consumer goods producer Unilever; it’s become something of a corporate mantra. By working closely with its global suppliers, the company has already achieved its goal of sending zero waste to landfill across its global factory network.

The company is currently rolling out several regional centers of excellence focused on customer service and logistics, with the goal of improving speed-to-response and efficiency.


Source: industryweek

The logistic transportation race wins with LNG

One of the most expensive aspect in the logistic indicators is the price of the fuel used in the fleets.

In December of 2016, Scott Perry, who is chief technology and procurement officer at Ryder Global Fleet Management Solutions, wrote an article in APICS Magazine about how this decision is fueling to make the switch.

Quote the relevant point of the publishing:

These days, most people at the pump are celebrating the continuation of inexpensive oil. However, many transportation and logistics professionals are cursing the low prices because they complicate the choice between diesel and natural gas as well as related fleet equipment-purchasing decisions.

Of course, today’s low diesel prices will not last forever. Furthermore, from year to year, emissions rise and fall because of changes in the economy, the price of fuel, weather, and other factors. No matter the current state, being fuel efficient is a key performance indicator for natural gas vehicles (NGVs).

Smart fleet managers focus on miles per gallon all the time, one fleet at a time. They think about the longer-term benefits of switching truck fleets to natural gas. Potential benefits include fewer carbon emissions, a lower price per gallon, and public recognition that you are doing your part to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon dioxide emissions.


Transportation and logistics professionals have an important role to play. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency reports that the US transportation sector is the nation’s second-largest contributor of GHG emissions, accounting for 26 percent from 1990 to 2014. The total rate for 2014 was 6,870 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), with medium- and heavy-duty trucks composing 23 percent of that segment. Emissions by these trucks increased 76 percent during that time—much more rapidly than that of passenger cars.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles produce 40 percent fewer GHG emissions than diesel and 80 percent fewer GHG emissions than certain renewable natural gas (biomethane from landfills) vehicles. However, because oil prices have fallen, diesel trucks cost the same as CNG vehicles to operate, so fewer companies are making the switch. In the long term, CNG trucks should be less expensive.

Other alternative fuel sources for commercial transportation, such as propane, also are evolving. There is evidence of propane gaining traction in the lighter- and medium-duty industry, but CNG continues to find applications across the entire portfolio of passenger; light-, medium-, and heavy-duty; and commercial vehicles.

CNG vehicles

Ryder is a provider of transportation and supply chain management products, including critical fleet functions, for more than 50,000 customers. Its NGV solutions for the commercial transportation industry encompass more than 100 million miles of experience, 22 NGV maintenance facilities, and more than 5,500 NGV-trained maintenance and support personnel. Along the way, the company has eliminated 35,269 MtCO2e GHG emissions and replaced approximately 15.4 million gallons of diesel fuel with lower-emission, domestically produced natural gas.

Ryder was an early mover toward natural gas because company leaders believe it is part of an energy-diversification strategy that will drive the continued evolution toward more advanced fuels. The company has deployed its NGVs into customer fleets in 16 US states and two Canadian provinces. To offer renewable natural gas—the cleanest fuel available today— Ryder also operates liquefied-to-compressed natural gas fuel stations at two service locations through a partnership with Clean Energy Fuels.



A greener green

UBCR is one company enjoying the long-term benefits of Ryder NGVs. This Michigan-based beverage container recycler has a container recovery rate of 97 percent, the highest in the nation. Its role in the deposit system is to collect, transport, and process empty beverage containers for large retailers. UBCR picks up more than 100 million cases from more than 600 stores and 100 wholesalers.

UBCR has operated its Ryder NGV fleet across more than 7 million miles since 2011. The business has reduced its GHG emissions by approximately 2,704 MtCO2e and replaced more than 1 million gallons of diesel fuel with lower-emission, domestically produced natural gas. In addition, UBCR announced earlier this year that it would be renewing its NGV lease agreement with Ryder for its entire truck fleet, becoming the first Ryder customer to transition from first-generation NGVs to the latest available technology. Now, 16 CNG vehicles, designed with the latest modifications and technological advances, are replacing the entire truck fleet.

“As a leading recycling company, this important carbon-reduction initiative complemented our long-standing growth strategy, which is grounded in sustainability,” says Nick Kronsbein, general manager for UBCR. “Ryder made it easier for us to jump-start our sustainable transportation program and convert our entire UBCR fleet to abundant, clean, and efficient natural gas. In the process, UBCR has gleaned financial benefits, including gaining more control over our costs and budgets by investing in a predictable and stable fuel source, while contributing to the wellbeing of our environment.”


A matter of maintenance

News about fueling infrastructure and new technology advancements continues to capture most of the headlines, but one of the most critical—and most often overlooked—elements for a successful natural gas fleet operation is maintenance. Well-maintained vehicles reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption; thus, they are unquestionably better for the environment. To meet stringent industry and government safety standards for NGV maintenance, traditional shops must go through a modification process, and technicians must receive extensive, specialized training.

Ryder trains technicians on the latest NGV technologies in order to help develop a best-in-class workforce. In fact, in 2015, Ryder announced the launch of a new online NGV maintenance training program for its North American maintenance network. The initiative provides the company’s entire technician workforce with knowledge of a wide array of NGV platforms and configurations in order to better serve customers that commit to converting all or part of their fleets to natural gas.

One of Ryder’s first natural gas customers was Willow Run Foods, a fast-food systems distributor in the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Serving customers in 14 states, Willow Run Foods provides one-stop shopping for chain restaurant operators. The company has significantly benefited from having well-maintained natural gas and diesel vehicles. It currently leases a fleet of 124 tractors from Ryder, 15 of which are CNG vehicles.

Ryder’s on-site maintenance operation and team of technicians ensure optimal fleet performance. The natural-gas-vehicle-lease component is expected to reduce GHG emissions by 500 tons and save Willow Run Foods more than $100,000 annually through a reduction of 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.

“Ryder made a commitment to provide and maintain a fleet that would ensure the integrity of transporting time-sensitive products from our facility to customer locations,” says Len Basso, vice president of operations at Willow Run Foods. “We receive quality equipment and an extended commitment that we’d never have a truck down for more than two hours.”

Looking forward

This certainly isn’t the first time—and it won’t be the last time—that volatile oil prices affect the alternative fuel market. As transportation and logistics professionals look to the future, energy diversification and natural gas should play major parts. More investment also should be made in commercial vehicle technologies, such as engines, fuel storage, and fuel stations. This will serve as an essential springboard for the overall success of the heavy-commercial industry.





The future of retail. Case Amazon GO

Today, the new technologies have made possible great changes in the supply chain increasing profits. This post is going to focus in the retailers and how the technology has change, not only the logistics, but also the customer experience.

There are numerous companies that have developed new technology systems offering new possibilities to the client. For example, the apple customers can walk in the stores, scan a product with the Apple store app, charge the amount of money in the attached credit card and walk out without checking out. But Amazon has gone a step further with a new concept called Amazon Go.

Amazon Go brokes conventional supermarket wisdom creating a mix between online shopping and in-person shopping. The process is easy, you use an app to enter the store, then you take the product you want and leave, receiving automatically the receipt by email.

You can see how Amazon Go works in the video below.

As you can see, Amazon go uses mobile e-commerce, machine learning and computer vision in order to allow the clients to buy grocery products without a cashier. This technology accomplishes an easy and fast purchase experience.

The advance in technology not only improves the consumer experience also involves changes in the logistics.

This technology allows the obtaining of a high amount of big data. On the one hand, it automatically detects when a shelve is empty in order to restock it immediately. On the other hand, Amazon is able to know the stock in the inventory at every moment and has the enough data to make accurate forecast demands. Thus, with the data collection Amazon is able to have a perfect communication with the suppliers, a great inventory control and the possibility to make personal recommendations and offers easily.

Terra Verde Sustainable Proposition

Terra Verde

Terra Verde is a brand new sustainable concept developed by Zara Muniz as a “startup” offering seasonal, 100% organic and locally (Dominican Republic) produced fruits and vegetables. And also, traditional products, so they take advantage of all the products that are not sold or people rejects. Natural inputs that are allowed under the norms of the organic standard, in addition to promoting biodiversity by growing different fruits on the same plot to create a self-sustaining ecosystem. We also have a worm farming project to produce our own compost.

For cultivating their products, they only use natural inputs that are allowed under the norms of the organic standard, in addition to promoting biodiversity by growing different fruits on the same plot to create a self-sustaining ecosystem and also have a worm farming project to produce their own compost.

By the time, they produce 70% of their products in their Rancho Arriba project, which has a double certification, are also supplied with other certified producers, and others not certified but undergo due supervision and regulation.

Value proposal. Development of ecological activities of social entrepreneurship in the R.D. market, creating one of the first ecological markets of quality. Homemade products, such as jams using everything that is left over in taking advantage of the decline and promoting the practice of recycling.

Evaluation of triple sustainability

Financial & Economic: Domestic consumption and the possibility of exporting to other international markets.

Environmental: Sustainability in the production of our lands, which allows the renewal of the natural resources that contribute to maintain the ecosystem.

Social: Satisfy the consumption at national level obtaining the healthiest foods that nature can provide. Talk about ecology and health.



Adrian Tropical’s Distribution Network

Resultado de imagen de adrian tropical

Adrian Tropical is a Dominican food restaurant located in the Dominican Republic opened since 1997. At the moment it has 4 restaurants located in different zones of Santo Domingo, D.R. and an operation and warehouse center called Operadora de Servicios Alimenticios, even though every restaurant has their own storage for their daily production.

For Adrian Tropical these are the following performance characteristics according to the cost factor:

Inventory: As they provide food to their final customers they apply First Expiry, First Out (FEFO) method, but at first used to apply First In, First Out (FIFO). At Operadora, they keep a high inventory as they are supposed to supply all the ingredients and pre-processed food to the four restaurants. On the contrary, the four restaurants keep a small and adapted inventory according to their demand.

Transportation: The company has three trucks to deliver all the goods to each restaurant. Operadora had defined a delivery time to each restaurant, the goods are delivered twice every day.

Facilities: At the moment, Adrian Tropical has a big Warehouse located nearby one of their restaurants that is in charge to receive raw materials that later will be delivered to the restaurants and also is an operation center where they pre-processed some of the food that they sell; and four restaurants that has small storages to supply their demand.

Information: The information flows between all the four restaurants and Operadora when they send the ordering request for all the goods they need. Also, there is an information flow between Operadora and all their suppliers in order to pre-processed the food that will be sent to the restaurants.

Distribution Network

Source: Own elaboration.

Are smart factories a smart idea?

More and more companies change their production facilities to so called smart factories. In such a smart factory the products and machines are connected over an internet of things and are able to control themselves and communicate with each other.

In this video you can get more information about smart factories and the movement behind it, industry 4.0:

But what does this whole automation mean? Machines and products take over human tasks, so what will the future bring for all the people working in factories?

The solution is not saying machines instead of people, it’s combining the intelligence of the machines with the intelligence of the people. Therefore, a good education will be more and more important in the future!

But one thing is for sure. The development towards industry 4.0 is inevitable if a company in a developed country wants to stay alive. With all the competitors and the price pressure due to globalisation it is hard to find ways to reduce costs and industry 4.0 is the most efficient one (long term perspective and in combination with others like Lean managenent). If they don’t change anything, they will probably move the plant to cheaper countries which would in the end increase even more the unemployment.

So, YES smart factories are a smart idea

What is Logistics Management? Distribution network

In simple terms “logistics” means having the right amount of a good at the right time, getting it to the appropriate location in proper condition and delivering it to the correct customer. Logistics is a web that links to businesses in every industry sector. The goal is to manage the fulfillment of each customer.

To meet every need of the customer it is necessary to have at least one of the different distribution networks. At the same time, the distribution network will adapt to the corporate strategy of the company and the type of good it offers to the market.

While customer service consists of many components, we will focus on those measures that are influenced by the structure of the distribution network. These include:

• Response time
• Product variety
• Product availability
• Customer experience
• Order visibility
• Returnability

There are six different types of distribution network. Each one has advantages and disadvantages, to design a good network of distrubucion we invite you to know more about this subject in the link below.

There are two key decisions when designing a Distribution network:

  1. Will the product be delivered to the customer location or picked up from a preordained site?
  2.  Will product flow through an intermediary (or intermediate location)?


Continue reading What is Logistics Management? Distribution network

E-commerce: The driver of green logistics

Spain is the fourth country in Europe to make more purchases through the internet, which is a challenge for companies in the sector, which don´t have the capacity to meet this demand. Coupled with shorter delivery times of digital orders, this is driving the growth of fleets of logistics operators.

In addition, due to pollution, some major cities such as Madrid or Barcelona restrict the entry of delivery vehicles to some areas of the urban center.

As a result, some delivery companies are making significant changes to their fleets, where electric vehicles are gaining weight. Specifically, Seur estimates a minimum term of 10 years to make the most of the urban distribution with electric vehicles, hybrids and other ecological transport.

Other projects, such as drone-sharing, pick-up boxes or the incorporation of small autonomous self-guided vehicles traveling on sidewalks, could play a key role in the future.

In my opinion

Often happens that, in order to adapt to the new demands of society, companies have to make changes in their procedures that not only solve a specific problem, but can also bring important benefits to society and the environment.


Investment in the development of more environmentally friendly transport models can not only translate into economic benefits for the company, but also contribute to the social and environmental development of our country.

It should be mentioned that Spain is an energy-depleted country and fuel consumption is 100% dependent on the exterior. This type of investment would help to reduce energy dependence as well as reducing pollutant emissions of CO2 and other gases harmful to the atmosphere, or noise pollution in cities.



Tamara Boronat

EUROTUNNEL: Direct connection UK-Europe

I heard recently about the Eurotunnel, the one that connects underground the United Kingdom with France through the English Channel, and suddenly came to my mind as an engineer the megastructure that they have made to connect underwater both countries to enhance the business relationships between UK and Europe. But not only that, I realised the huge importance of the logistics in this way, so I started investigating news related with it.

Resultado de imagen de eurotunnel

I founded the influence of the e-commerce over that building and it is awesome the repercussion over it. During the previous year, shipping packages of companies operating online in the UK grew 16.3%, reaching 165 million euros.

Currently, the private company that manages the Eurotunnel has announced that will increase its capacity a 20% to attend the growth of the electronic commerce, owing to the cross-border sales boom between UK and the rest of Europe. Three new daily trains, with thirty-two car wagons will link France and the south of England, so that eighteen convoys will cross daily in 2017 and which will suppose an investment of 40 million euros that will be used for the construction of three new shuttles.

The Eurotunnel service transported 1.36 million trucks in 2013 and it is expected a growth until the 2 millions of trucks in 2020.

Following, there is an attached video where you can observe how they made it.


International Commerce Terms

Incoterms are a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms. Applying Incoterms to sale and purchase contracts makes global trade easier and helps partners in different countries understand one another.

They’re used to make sure buyer and seller know:

  • Who is responsible for the cost of transporting the goods, including insurance, taxes and duties.
  • Where the goods should be picked up from and transported to.
  • Who is responsible for the goods at each step during transportation.

Every international contract also contains what is referred to as an Incoterm, or international commercial term. There are 13 main terms and several secondary terms that denote the points at which shipper, carrier, and consignee risk and responsibility start and end.

The parties to the transaction select the Incoterms, which determine who pays the cost of each transportation segment, who is responsible for loading and unloading of goods, and who bears the risk of loss at any given point during an international shipment.

I invite you to visit this link to know the responsibilities of the parties in the different types of incoterms.

Magdalena River navigation project and the corruption behind it


Historically, Colombia has suffered from a deficient transportation system with weak and inefficient networks connecting the country to overseas markets and even making domestic communication between provinces and regions a challenge, up to the point that, as BONUS says “logistical expenses currently account for 18.6% of the cost of doing business in Colombia which is  is 4.3 percentage points higher than the Latin American average”.

But since president Santos proclaimed the updating of Colombia’s transport infrastructure a priority of his administration’s economic policy, progress started to de made with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program that was devised to usher in a new era of innovative project funding. This new form of partnership aims to empower the infrastructure development by offering a financing vehicle capable of removing the obstacles that historically blocked transport.

The centerpiece of this program is the Magdalena River Waterway PPP, a megaproject that is set to improve the navigability of Colombia’s principal waterway, the 1,500km Magdalena river, to transform it into a pivotal transportation artery and the backbone of an extensive logistics network under a Design, Build, Finance, Operation, Maintenance and Transfer license contract.

The project

The project’s contract amounts to $857 million and contains a CAPEX (capital expenditure) segment of $476m with 70% of that amount earmarked for canal building and the remainder destined for dredging and maintenance work. The financial closing is expected to be approximately $683m and will require an equity contribution of $174m.

The contract is to run for a 13.5-year estimated term which includes a five year construction phase and a seven year maintenance period. During the maintenance period, the private partner will need to guarantee a minimum depth of at least seven feet along the entire length of the waterway. The navigating channel must be maintained at a width of at least 52 metres with a curvature radius of 900 metres.

The Navelena SAS consortium, headed by Odebrecht, won the public bid to execute the contract (works and dredging). As of today, Cormagdalena has received more than forty requests for river ports concessions, representing investments totalling over $1.2 billion. Ultimately, this shows how the project has become a catalyst for investment in the Colombia’s transportation infrastructure as it is expected to have several ramifications.

Benefits of the Project

  • Offers a valuable alternative to shippers that right now only have roads.
  • Decreases the cost of shipping cargoes from Bogotá – Colombia’s capital – and the surrounding central region to the Caribbean Sea.
  • The waterway will be plied by barges with a capacity of 7,200 ton each – equivalent to about 180 trucks
  • It is estimated that internal freight will be reduced between 30% and 40%.
  • 70% of the country’s population is in the basin of the Magdalena River
  • Emission reduction. The inland waterways released 20 times less nitrous oxide, 9 times less carbon monoxide, 7 times less hydrocarbons.
  • Lower fuel consumption. A gallon of fuel in a tugboat by the river can carry a ton of cargo 2.5 times further than the railroad and 10 times further than a truck.
  • Promotes greater integration of the network of transport infrastructure. It encourages the creation of multimodal transport corridors.
  • Reduced congestion on roads improving travel times. Tours today lasting 7 days or longer, will take three days and a half.
  • Augments transportation volume.
  • The country’s main population centres – Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali – will be more efficiently interconnected. Each centre will enjoy easy access to a major port.

Corruption stops the project


Colombia’s government suspended the millionare contract to restore navigability of the Magdalena River that was led by Brazilian firm Odebrecht S.A, which does business in the fields of engineering and construction industry, and in the development and operation of infrastructure and energy projects, which faces allegations of corruption in Colombia and other Latin American countries of having paid extensive bribes to land infraestructure projects, because the company failed to provide funding to develop the project or cede the concession to another company.

According to REUTERS:

The government’s decision came after Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui bank pulled $250 million in financing from the project in January as the Odebrecht scandal was erupting.

U.S. prosecutors have accused Odebrecht of paying bribes connected to projects in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela between 2002 and 2016. The company has admitted to paying bribes to officials in 12 countries, mostly in Latin America, to help secure lucrative contracts.


Odebrecht had to get a strategic partner to fulfill the projects financial closure until February 22 in order to cede the contract since the Japanese bank had retired, while the governmental agency in charge of the Magdalena river, was deciding to proceed with the anticipated termination of the contract, until it was presented the very last day of the deadline by Odebrecht with their new proposal  Power China, a multinational company that participated in the tender of the dredging and is interested in the cession of the contract. Cormagdalena is now analyzing the possibility of the Chinese company assuming the obligations of the license contract.

The Cold Chain

The greater the physical separation, the more likely freight can be damaged in one of the complex transport operations involved. Some goods can be damaged by shocks while others can be damaged by undue temperature variations. For a range of goods labeled as perishables, particularly food (produces), their quality degrades with time.

To ensure that cargo does not become damaged or compromised throughout this process, businesses in the food industries but also in pharmaceutical, medical are increasingly relying on the cold chain.

“The cold chain involves the transportation of temperature sensitive products along a supply chain through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods and the logistical planning to protect the integrity of these shipments. There are several means in which cold chain products can be transported, including refrigerated trucks and railcars, refrigerated cargo ships as well as by air cargo.”

Temperature control in the shipment of food is a component of the logistic industry that has continued to rise in relation with international trade. As a growing number of countries focus their export economy around food and produce production, the need to keep these products fresh for extended periods of time has gained in importance for commercial.

To ensure that the cold-chain is working without any problems, some steps have to be determined:

Shipment preparation:

  • Characterize the product
  • Characterize the conditions of the destination

Modal choice:

  • How will the shipment be moved
  • According to distance and weight and perishability

Custom procedures:

  • Is the perishable product allowed to cross borders?

The “Last Mile”:

  • The final transfer of the shipment into the cold storage facilities as there is potential for a break of integrity
  • Timing of the delivery according to critical factors like labor and warehouse space

Integrity and quality assurance

  • Recording of any known temperature anomalies



The Geography of Transport Systems, Jean-Paul Rodrigue (2017), New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-1138669574


Common items that can be dangerous

Lots of firecrackers have been bought during these Fallas, but I have never seen how they are downloaded and stored in the warehouses of the stores.  Because of that, I began to investigate about the transportation of dangerous goods, what it is defined as every item or substance which, if it is not well manipulated, could cause damage to people or environment.

Resultado de imagen de dangerous goods

So below that definition, there are many products that do not seem to be dangerous but they are, and because of that they should be declared before their transportation.  I include a table with the most amazing ones.

Product Potential danger
Air conditioning May contain gases under pressure
Car parts May include carburetors, conduits or tanks that may contain gasoline.
Computer equipment May contain uninterruptible power supplies with electricity storage batteries, magnets on speakers, and printing ink.
 Cosmetics  May contain flammable liquids.
 Frozen food  May contain dry ice
 Laundry supplies  May indicate strong bleaches or oxidising treatments for tissues.
 Office supplies May contain aerosols, ink for printing, both flammable and non-flammable, uninterruptible power supplies with electricity storage batteries.
 Photography supplies May contain acids, corrosive materials, lyes, or poisonous materials.
 Weather equipment  May indicate the presence of mercury-containing devices.

So when making a shipment it must be important to declare dangerous goods, because if not you are the responsible of the damages caused by merchandise in case of an accident.


Agrifood Supply Chain and Bontà Viva


During the last lecture, we had the chance to analyze and confront different Supply Chain in the agrifood industry. This lead to the discovery of this new concept of business. Globalization, along with rapid demographic changes and evolving regulatory and legislative interventions, dictates the increasing demand for high quality, value-added and customized agrifood products. It is only during the last ten years that the agrifood industry has recognized and started embracing this model of supply chain as a key concept for its competitiveness.

What is Agrifood?

This is the business of producing food agriculturally. These chains are designed to increase competitive advantage through collaboration in a venture that links producers, processors, marketers, food service companies, retailers and supporting groups such as shippers, research groups and suppliers. In general, this is comprised of a set of activities in a “farm-to-fork” sequence including farming (i.e. land cultivation and production), processing/production, testing, packaging, warehousing, transportation, distribution, and marketing. The basic characteristic is the market-focused collaboration, these businesses enterprises work together, combining market products and services, effectively and efficiently.


Bontà Viva

Grounding their business with these ideas, Bontà Viva, is expanding in the market. This is an Italian company, based in Rivoli and born in 1990. They have a solid experience in the sector and their idea is to become an excellence in the fresh vegetable soups. Their strength is in what they offer, directly related to how they offer it.

The idea comes from the States, where these ready-to-eat foods are very popular, with the added value of genuine and healthy food.

The company is split into two areas: the conventional and the organic-gluten free. The first account circa 100 recipes of soups, side dishes and salads while the second, ranks first in Italy in terms quality and number of recipes, at present 30. The company works in a factory of 12.000 square meters of which 6.000 are dedicated to the production facilities. Everything is equipped with tools using renewable energy and all the packaging are recyclable.

The Business Model

This company is working to be highly innovative, being sustainable is of great importance, as well as offer great quality of food and make profit from it. Their supply chain is completely transparent, they buy from certified firms and the ingredients are always prepared, cooked and preserved within 8 hours of arriving in the factory.

The preservations modes are two different:

  • Blast chilling: from 80°C to 4°C for all the products that will be sell in the Italian market (this method guarantee 60 days of shelf life)
  • Pasteurization: products that will be exported outside Italy and this method guarantee a shelf life of 120 days

Agrifood Supply Chain

Agrifood supply chains exhibit a set of unique characteristics that differentiate them from classical supply networks and raise the need for special managerial capabilities.

  • Unique nature of the products as in most cases they refer to short life-cycle goods,
  • High product differentiation,
 seasonality in harvesting and production operations,
  • Variability of quality and quantity on farm inputs and processing yields
  • Specific requirements regarding transportation, storage conditions, quality, and material recycling
  • Need to comply with national/international legislation, regulations and directives regarding food safety and public health, as well as environmental issues (e.g. car- bon and water footprints)
  • Need for specialised attributes, such as traceability and visibility
  • Need for high efficiency and productivity of the expensive technical equipment, despite the long production times
  • Increased complexity of operations, and the existence of significant capacity constraints.

This is an example of a general Agrifood Supply Chain.

agrifood chain.png





Using technology to innovate and enhance every industry has become something very usual nowadays. The technological advances of the last years have allowed companies to develop and implement IT systems in its daily routine. In this post, I would like to introduce you Otto, the self-driving truck developed by Uber which is being already used in the transportation industry.

Rethinking Transportation

Otto is designing a new approach to modern transportation, starting with self-driving trucks. Currently, Otto’s truck doesn’t seek to substitute drivers, but help them in they daily work and improve their lifestyles making money for them while they are taking a rest or doing another stuff.

Because of long-haul transit is vital for nearly 70% of the things we buy, Otto has the commitment to develop this technology with the commitment to enhance our lifestyles and looking for the common interests. With Otto, deliveries will take less time than in the traditional way, because the machine doesn’t get tired, therefore while truck driver is taking a rest, the self-driving truck will continue with the journey and the goods will arrive soon, saving not only CO2 emissions but also money and time. Hence, trucks can make more deliveries and become more efficient matching with all the demand of goods.Another and interesting point of Otto is the safety, due to most of the fatalities are occurring in the highway are because of human mistakes and with Otto’s technology this will be reduced considerably.

In conclusion, will be interesting to see in the coming years how this technology is taking place in the industry. Moreover, the fist self-driving truck delivery took place in Colorado, USA, where a self-driving truck delivered 50.000 cans of beers.




DELL case: logistics as a competitive advantage

Consciously developing a competitive advantage is necessary to maintaining a business in a competitive environment. In the case of DELL, logistics was key to achieving this advantage and defeating rivals such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Unlike its competitors, DELL has a business model that can be identified as “direct model”, in which DELL sells its PC´s directly to customers without using a retail channel.


Therefore it creates a direct relationship with each individual customer which they have segmented into groups to make it easier to approach (large organizations, small and medium businesses, and personal consumers).

The other aspect that makes DELLs supply chain unique is the Build-to-order strategy.


The success of his model is based on three pillars:

The first, maybe the most important, is to keep inventories at zero. The second is to produce nothing that doesn´t already have a buyer. And the third is to maintain a constant and detailed measurement of their performance.

The Role of Supply Chain in Maximizing Profit in DELL

The heart of Dell’s success is its integrated supply chain, which has enabled rapid product design, fabrication, and assembly, as well as direct shipment to customers. Inventories have been dramatically reduced through extensive sharing of information, a prudent choice given the risk of technological obsolescence and reductions in the cost of materials.

Even with reduced inventories, Dell’s strategic use of information has made possible a dramatic reduction in the elapsed time from order to delivery, giving DELL a significant competitive advantage.

Some of the vertical integration strategies that DELL uses are the following:

  • Fast communication system
  • Clear definition of what DELL does best
  • Selection of partners who are the best in their respective fields
  • Minimum number of suppliers
  • Internet as a strategy to promote effective integration
  • More emphasis on using assets rapidly than guarding intellectual assets


Tamara Boronat

Automated Parking Solutions in Logistics

About Innovation. Modern and innovative solutions and the improvement of logistic processes is for me a main criteria for sharing content in the blog of our subject. These automaded parking solutions are created by a German Start-up company “Serva Transport Systems” in a joint development project with the science organisation “Fraunhofer IML.” To safe space in a car warehouses they innovated with an automatic parking system for passenger cars.
Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-20 um 17.25.44.png
What is the difference, what is new?
Compared to previously known automatic parking systems, no specific building equipment in the form of rails, shelves etc. is required. The use in any conventional parking garage – especially in the form of retrofitting – is therefore possible. The patent pending procedure consists of free-moving, variable-length driverless transport vehicles (out of the German language it means short: FTF – for Driverless Transport Vehicles) with laser navigation and laser sensors for the measurement of passenger cars. The FTF can thus automatically take, place and transport passenger cars.

The benefit. The reducing of the neccesarry space through the minimized distance between the automaticly sorted cars, the result is a 40% higher area utilization ratio compared to conventional car parks. Due to the simultaneous use of several FTFs, a high system performance can also be achieved.

Conclusion. I hope you like the idea and the post. Serva transport systems also applied for a patent on this laser-automatic-parking system. Saving space will, especially in logistics, get more and more important.

Marius Heinzel

HOF3M: El Bodeguero

While looking for a company that suits with the HOF3M project, I remembered that I have a friend in Colombia who was working with the farmers of his farm trying to get their crops more profitable. And that’s what exactly HOF3M is about; connecting the food consumer with the small producers in a sustainable way, having in mind the triple sustainability: economical, social and environmental.

El Bodeguero is a business model that brings food directly from the countryside of Santander (Colombia) to the comfort of your home. This family business began when the owner’s son decided to go to live in the farm and work in it, but he went back to the city during the weekends to spend time with his family. In that moment, he thought that he could take advantage of his weekends trips to the city to sell the products they have available in the crops. So, the freight will be almost cero because instead of driving an empty car, he would take products with him and sell them directly to the consumers. Then, there would not be environmental impact because those trips would be done with or without El Bodeguero.

In this case, El Bodeguero is the intermediary but if the farmers do not sell their product to them they will have to sell them in the market place of the countryside and have to wait for the market price that can vary depending on the provision of each product. El Bodeguero as the intermediary is giving the possibility to the farmers to sell part of their production at a better price and also help them to save the transport cost. What they are really trying to avoid are the intermediaries in warehouse, central stores, and supermarkets by taking their products directly to the consumer’s door, already selected and portioned for consumption.

The other way of business is that the producers can be employees of the farms that have their own vegetable garden for personal consumption and now El Bodeguero gives them the chance of selling the surplus; for these farmers the surplus is becoming an additional income.

El Bodeguero, is also watching forward our quality of life because they want to provide us with healthy and nutritional products. Therefore, helping us not to loose the privilege of having creole food by encouraging and motivating farmers.

In conclusion, this assignment gave me the chance to know more about this family business, how it works and how they are contributing to society. Below you will find the HOF3M project applied to El Bodeguero.

PP El bodeguero


Huertea: Ecological Agriculture

Huertea is a familiar business with its fields located in Ribera del Duero. It is focused in ecological agriculture and allows the customer to reserve a plot where Huertea will plant, water and take care of the favorite ecological vegetables.  The harvest is done between April and December and include a home delivery service.

How does Huertea work?

First of all, the customer has to subscribe in their webpage and select his favorite vegetables. The client will be able to see photos (in the webpage) of the plot and track the progress of the vegetables growth. Huertea also gives the customer the oportunity to visit the plot, however, it is only allowed at certain times.

When the vegetables are ready, the staff do the gathering by hand and the delivery is done to the address specified in the subscription, between April and December.

Economical, social and environmental sustainability

Huertea is willing to preserve their customers health. They do not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides nor preservatives.

It  also contributes to the environmental sustainability. They use ecological agriculture methods and do the watering with a dripping system, which reduces the water and energy consumption.

I invite you to watch the following  video (in spanish). This video explains what is the model about in just 80 seconds.


Why are online supermarkets failing in Spain?

Online spuermarket

E-commerce is growing up quickly in Spain. Since alimentation moves around 4% of the money in the country, inclouding online supermarkets and delivery services companies such as Just Eat or La Nevera Roja.

Nowadays in Spain there are two main online supermarkets: Ulabox and Tudespensa. They not only provide plenty of products to the final consumer but also, this supermarkets delivery the products in their clients houses. Besides, they avoid the wholesaler and intermediaires of the distribution chain in this sector.

However, some of them (such as could not survive due to the difficulty of changing the consumer’s habits and several logistic problems like the lack of multi-temperature logistics operators, that allow to transport the food in the proper temperatures. Moreover, this specialized trucks have different compartments, each one related to a different temperature to transport a specific product. They are essential in order to give a competitive service, comparing to the traditional supermarkets. Without this technology, it is difficult for the customer to trust in this business due to the fact that the food may not have the appropiate conditions when arriving to the client and at the present time there are very few companies providing this service.



Walmart’s Vendor-Managed Inventory Model

From the case study “Rodillas de Titanio Kapeju” we have recognized the apparent problem of managing the massive inventory that many companies have to face. Therefore I think we all can more or less learn from the example of Walmart, whose one key success lies in their famed Vendor-Managed Inventory model.

By utilizing the advantages of modern communication technology, Walmart shares the data of its information system with the suppliers, who then can monitor the current amount of goods and the rate they are being sold. Based on this information, the suppliers themselves can figure out when Walmart will need to replenish its inventory and send the delivery accordingly.


The benefits of this practice are clear:

  • Reduce the delay in transporting the goods through the supply chain as the supplier can now even more actively take part in the supply chain, rather than waiting for Walmart to place the order.
  • Decrease the cost of managing the inventory, because with this model Walmart doesn’t have to spend the human and financial resource to monitor and manage each supplier’s good anymore.

It goes without saying, that this model was only made possible with a hefty amount of investment in the IT System as well as many other technologies, for example RFID or bar code scanning, but the reward in the end was indeed enormous.


Emergency Logistics

In one of the last lectures we have discussed about the different ways of transporting goods like using terrestrial, water, air or pipeline methods. We have seen the differences for road transportation using a full truck load, less than a truck load or a package delivery.

But what can companies do when they need a really urgent and secure delivery for a special product?

The solution in such a case could be a so called On-Board-Courier Service. These Couriers transport important but handy goods personally as a normal passenger on board of an airplane to the place where it is needed.

The normal procedure is the following:

A customer needs an urgent transport from point A to B. That can be human organs, art objects or spare parts for the industry. For example when a production plant stops because of the absence of a certain spare part, it can cost the company and arm and a leg. The customer contacts the on board courier service which will forward the order to one of their on-board couriers. He is responsible now, that the freight arrives as fast as possible.

In the following industries the on board courier service for emergency logistics is daily routine nowadays

  • Automobile industry
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Medical logistics
  • Offshore
  • Aircraft on ground


The job as an on-board courier is an interesting and exciting way of making some extra money for students or highly flexible people, because the working hours vary every time and also on Sundays as well as on holidays on-board couriers must be prepared to take an order. The remuneration per order starts from 150 Euro and can go up to 500 Euro, depending on distance and duration of the mission.

3 weakness of agrifood supply chains

Lack of transparency in the supply chain system

If the next actor of the supply chain hasn’t a good relation with his supplier when the supplier would have a problem with its farming, the next actor will realize too late to solve the problem so the supply chain will break.


Lack of communication between all the supply chain participants

This weakness is closely related with the first weakness. In order to be transparent, it is needed a fast and reliable communication system between the participants. It is needed to know when the order is ready, but also to communicate problems from the supplier, or even problems from the customer or the end of the supply chain to the supplier.


Lack of information for the customer

Increasingly often, customers want to know more about the product that they are buying. “Where it is from?” and “How it was cultivated?” are the most frequently questions. Give this information could be a good marketing strategy by differentiating our product from our competitors. A good way to solve this problem and it also very used could be create some videos where the customer could answer their questions and link it to the product by a QR code.


In conclusion

To manage an excellent supply chain, it is needed to compile and share the information automatically and in real time. For this reason, is important to invest in R&D and technology that manage the information in an efficient way.




Environmental sustainability vs Globalization

During the last years environmental sustainability became more and more important. Back in the days, to be sustainable was only an unnecessary cost factor. Nowadays, there are even governmental regulations regarding safety of the environment and it is state of the art that big companies have a sustainability strategy.. at least in Europe.

The reason why I write about this topic is because I spent two months working in Shanghai.. where they definitely do not have such awareness of global warming. On the picture you can see the air pollution in Shanghai.



Although many big companies have already anchored a sustainability strategy in their over all goals, they still have huge CO2 emissions due to international distribution. With the globalization the need of transport raises and the delivery time became a critical decision factor.

What can be done

There are several things that companies as well as customers can do. I will only mention very few of them:

  • Carbon capping (defining a maximum amount of CO2)
  • Investing in renewable energies for own energy demand
  • Transport only in FTL
  • Improvement of processes to save energy/material
  • Using of synergies (e.g. use hot steam from production for heating office buildings)

Personal Conclusion

In my personal opinion, there should be global regulations about environmental sustainability because in the end it is our own planet that gets destroyed if nothing gets changed. There are many ways of being sustainable but especially low cost companies can’t afford that. I rather pay a little more when I know it is better for the environment.


Further links:

Click to access FULLTEXT02.pdf


Resultado de imagen de consum


Consum is a Spanish cooperative that distributes grocery, house and beauty products with the strategy of variety, quality and price.

The cooperative counts with 684 supermarkets and 6 logistic centres in Spain.

In particular, this post will focus in the Consum logistic centre located in Silla that is responsible for storing and distributing Consum and Charter supermarkets dry feeding, drugstore, perfumery and bazaar products.


Since its inception, the Silla warehouse had to deal daily with a huge variety of products resulting in a constant flow of goods coming in and out of the logistic centre.

In addition, the warehouse has to continuously adapt the products to the load unit demanded by the supermarket. For example, the big Consum supermarkets, frequently located in the city centres, request full pallets of usual products and the outskirt supermarkets ask for half pallets or a lower load unit.

Due to this, the company had problems to optimize the plant space falling thus into a decrease in efficiency and increase in costs.


Consum, in order to solve the problems in Silla’s plant and to equalize the main competitors as Mercadona, decided to automate the logistic platform with help from the ULMA company. They decided to divide the logistic platform in two buildings, the first one, intended for silo and the second one for picking.

The building created to store high rotation products took up 5527 square metres and has a height of 30 metres. It is equipped with 9 automatic stacker cranes with 18368 locations. This automated store system is able to manage automatically all the incoming and outgoing of ½ pallet load, ¼ pallet load or europallet being able to lead order processing automatically. In adittion, this system allow to fit the demand of big and small stores.

On the other hand, the second building has 8855 square metre surface with 6 elevators and 12 transfer carriages, where the staff is able to manage small demands and low rotation products.

Imagen relacionada


As a result Consum has achieve the construction of a sustainable plant with a big technological bet that got the optimization of the plant, a hard decrease in the mistakes, a productivity increase and an improvement in the working conditions in the platform.

Click to see how the Silla plant works after this refurbishment.

Robots and logistics: Amazon, DHL and future trends.

Robots started to have impact in businesses several years ago. However, logistics was not affected by robots because of the complexity of the work (handling a lot of thing in many possible combinations, close to people and in small spaces).

Let’s see some data that explains the actual situation of warehouses:

  • 80% of warehouses are manual operated, with no supported automation.
  • 15% of warehouses are mechanized
  • 5% are fully automated

However of this data, robotics research has been evolving so fast:

Post logistics 2


Nowadays, robots have started to make their impact in logistics thanks to the combination of different research fields advances: Electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, law, cognitive schiences, psychology, biology and mechanical engineering.

For example the case of Amazon robots, called good-picker robots, used in Amazon’s warehouses to move mercancy  inside the plant.

Due to their performance in recent years, Amazon is using more than 45.000 robots in their worldwide warehouses, and it seems that this amount will keep increasing, replacing humans by more advanced robots. In fact, they are testing drone transport, in  order to innovate in transportation and get a pioneer position in the market. Next video shows its first trial.

Amazon is one of the most known examples of robotics users, but let’s see what DHL expects next years to happen. DHL expects great changes in their distribution centers for next years. Next picture shows just what a DHL distribution center can be in near future.

Post logistics


According to DHL, new operations will incorporate different types of robot each with a specific job to perform such as unloading trucks, co-packing, picking orders, checking inventory, or shipping goods. Most of these robots will be mobile and self-contained but they will be coordinated through advanced warehouse management systems and equipped with planning software to track inventory movements and progress orders with a high degree of accuracy. As  we see in the picture, experts see a distribution center fully robotic.

As we can see, interest in the field of robotics is clearly increasing, and more and more, robotics are having an impact in logistics fields. More funding is pouring into development than ever before from governments, large companies, and venture capitalists. Low-cost sensors and faster computers have made previously impossible challenges more manageable. Everything looks like the turning point of a new era has been already passed. Business is changing due to this innovation and logistics is evolving seriously in last years due to e-commerce trends.

Probably our focus should be on checking how we can take profit of robots in order to differentiate from the others. Amazon has already moved to this technology and large companies as DHL is on its way too, so better let’s see how this can affect us individually and let’s position ourselves in the new era which is about to come.…/robots-in-the-warehouse-its-not-just-amazon/

“Robotics in logistics” by Tom Bonkenburg.






The logistics of Inditex is admirable. Its strategy consists of having a wide number of subsidiaries around all the world, but one single headquarter in Spain, specifically in Galicia. This headquarters works as a distribution point for all the company, distributing to all their stores worldwide, twice a week their requested products.Therefore, with this logistics system, Inditex avoid the accumulation of stock and get that all the stores can renew their offer constantly.

Resultado de imagen de inditex logistica

The internal communication of the company is a key point of this rapid distribution, even achieving that all the stores around the world get the products at the same time. For instance, the stores of japan get the products at the same time that the stores of France.

Regarding the means of transport, Inditex uses land and air transport, depending on the destination.

Finally, have a look at this video, which basically contains all the information that I have already wrote but visually, so you can strengthen all the main ideas.

Enjoy it.

Kanban makes logistics easier!

Why Kanban?

In my further work experience I always prefered methods which make processes easier. The japanese Kanban system is a great possibilty to make the logistic structure easier. Methods like Kanban are always good to know.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is an effective tool in a scheduling system for supporting manufacturing. It is a japanese process and comes from the “map.” Kanban in the process is actually ment to be the central necessary information. The Kanban flow is about realizing when the stock needs to be filled up in time. The information chain creates a new order for material. If Kanban runs there will not be any stucking in the production. But there will also not be too much material in the stock. It is about the ordering “right-in-time-when-needed.”

Especially for students it is always interesting to learn about processes. Kanban can be found in different areas and a huge amount of companies are using it. (Started by Toyota!) Kanban is about good communcation and creating transperancy.

The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP)

In the last session we shorty talked about the Vehicle Routing Problem. A generic name given to a class of problems in which a set of routes for a fleet of vehicles based at one or several depots must be determined for a number of geographical dispersed cities or customers. With this Blog I want you to give the chance to get a deeper dive in this theory.

The objective of such a VRP problem is not always just the minimization of costs many more objectives are possible and depends on the particular problem:

  • Minimize time travel
  • Minimize distance
  • Minimize the number of vehicles used
  • Maximize the time balance of used vehicles

But to reach these goals, several problems can occur which differ from the initial problem.  To overview this problems the literature suggested sever classes of VRP problems, which I now want you to introduce:

Distance Constrained VRP (DVRP)

  • A possible route is constrained by the maximum route duration
  • This reacts on constraints of the maximum driving duration of the drivers or on the problems with highly perishable goods

VRP with Time Window (VRPTW)

  • All customers must/should be served within a certain time window
  • This react on constraint for example of the question “at what time am I allowed to enter pedestrian zones with my vehicle”?

Time Dependent VRP (TDVRP)

  • Travel time between two locations depends both on distance and time of day
  • Reaction on rush hours in the morning and in the evening

There are many more options of this Problem and I just wanted to show how much theory and know-how can be hidden behind a single buzzword like VRP.


Stadtler, H., Fleischmann, B., Grunow, M., Meyr, H., Sürie, C. (2011) Advanced Planning in Supply Chains – Illustrating the Concepts Using an SAP APO Case Study, Berlin et al., Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-24214-

Coca Cola Distribution Network

In order to understand how hundreds of brands are present in different countries it is necessary to know the distribution model use in the supply chain.

Most companies that have products with high demand prefer to have the product close to the customer. That is one of the different reasons why a company needs warehouses that can help with quick and easy distribution of the product.

If we analyze the case of two large global companies like Coca Cola Company and AB InBev, we will realize that it has a distribution model (Retail store with customer pick up) very similar. This model contains stores and retailers as needed to meet the demand also the transportation cost is much lower than other solutions.

The following video clearly shows how the product flow from the factory to the final customer.

In the case of  Cocal Cola that is focused on being efficient and manage its costs until the lowest balance, we will see that the type of transport to be used will depend on the need and urgency with which it is necessary to place the product in the market.


As we were talking about distribution network in the last week, I want to talk about inventories because it a part of the supply chain cost that is affect it by the distribution network design.

Some authors define inventory as the stocks of a piece or resource used in an organization. We can control inventory by an inventory system, that is the set of policies and controls that monitor the levels of inventories and determine those to maintain, the time when it is necessary to supply it and how big the orders should be. Inventory purposes are maintain independence between operations, cover the variation in demand, allow flexibility in production scheduling, and others. It important to control inventories because inventory is money!

Resultado de imagen de control de inventarios

Depending of the company and the production model that they prefer, it necessary to has a different amount of stocks in their warehouses, but is necessary analyze an inventory system that covers the necessities of the company.

Here we have an interesting video about inventory management:

DHL International Supply Chain

The international trade landscape is rapidly changing and global supply chains are facing major challenges. It is in this climate that a global service provider with the ability to deliver innovative solutions that reduce the complexity of the supply chain offers you are a genuine competitive advantage.

DHL INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY CHAIN is a solution that links the origin supply chain with the destination market. It results in a more cost effective and efficient supply chain, offering complete visibility and control through a single point of contact.

Media Markt – Excellent logistics

I share the history, logistics and service of Media Mark as it has attracted my attention for the great variety of installations and different types of devices in sales and the facility to obtain them through its national and peninsula domicile. This has currently 81 stores in Spain.


 It is a German company created in 1979, focused on a new model different at that time: Unique prices in the market, competitive and with a great variety of products on the market.

They began with their extension in Europe in the year 1999 then in Australia, Italy which successfully carried out their strategies and their international expansion. The Media Market company with its dedication and the best services in Spain achieved their great success by implementing and developing the first store in Madrid.

This has a great impact on the European market in technology, different categories of electronic products, the best brands, modern products, great quality, with the advantage of selecting an average of 45,000 items in one store and the best prices. Implementing new strategies such as not applying on any DIA without VAT, online pages, Black Friday and availability at national, peninsular and international address at the best price.
They presented themselves with their new fundamental theory in a commercial idea totally different from the traditional one: “Great surface, wide assortment, small margins but, in return great benefits” this was the daily message that focused every day on the satisfaction of the customers.


Media market offers home delivery and free package pickup at company stores. It has different types of collection:
-Express pickup in 2 hours.
-Reception in 2/3 days
-Collection points in stores. (Stop & GO, Robot digital store, collection point in store)
– Shipments for products of small and medium size (In 2 hours, 24/48 hours).
-Shipping for large products (Basic, Premium and Deluxe).

At the moment it has 81 stores in Europe and adapted its logistics to arrive in 19 cities of Europe in two hours.

Image result for logistica de media markt




Logistics as a source of competitive advantage: Calconut, case of success.

We have always been said that logistics can be a source of competitive advantage.

Looking at Amazon it seems like only those monster companies can achieve this competitive advantage by size and capabilities. But logistics can help not just the big ones but small ones too.

Here, we are about to see a case model of how a small company can extremely optimize its logistics and get unbelievable profits!

A Spanish company from Almeria, named Calconut. They are global nuts traders. In 2012 its total income was 8 million euros, and just in 3 year, they committed to multiply that quantity by 15, achieving a total income of 126 million of euros. Let’s see a bit more about Colcanut.

Having a look on the video we arrive to the key of the calconut’s success, an innovative logistic management.

As one of the main slogans of the company, “Our warehouse is the Ocean, nuts in time”, its strategy has been focused on delivering their products as fast as possible by optimizing its logistic process, based on maritime transport. They use the fastest and cheapest maritime ways, and are able to change containers from one ship to another fastly, “without unloading the container”, as they say.

Just in a few years, thanks to its efforts on improving their logistics and achieving this competitive advantage in the market, income growth has reached them to top 20 nut’s trader. To have an idea of what this means, just by improving its sales thanks to its logistics innovations, nowadays they are ranked as the number 11 biggest nut importer country in the world, just being a company.

This is just one successful story, but it is crowded of them in the business world. I just tried to share this information in order to highlight one thing, Logistics can improve a companies performance hugely, so let’s take it seriously.



The problem of Retail Storage Distribution Network

When we go shopping, most of the times we are being involved, as customers, in a Retail Storage Distribution Network, which means that we have bought a product (in a physical store or via online).  Thanks to this type of distribution network we are free to choose, between different brands, which product is the most suitable to our needs or preferences.

Resultado de imagen de retail storage distribution network

From this side, everything is perfect.  The customers are satisfied because they have at their disposal a huge variety of unique products; the retail stores get a sale (and sales are their objective) and the manufacturer get a customer who will be faithful to the brand if the product reaches his/her expectations.  But, what happen when something goes wrong?

In September 2016 I bought a Sony smartphone in Media Markt.  By the beginning of 2017, the smartphone stops working and thanks to the warranty I was able to go to Media Markt with the intention of getting it fixed.  Today, I am still waiting for that and I have already gone to Media Markt five times because they notified me that the smartphone was fixed (and in fact, it was not). 

Why does this happen?  I am pretty sure information has something to do.  If I were able to personally contact Sony, I would explain the problems that I had experienced some days ago before the smartphone stopped working.  Although Media Markt should explain them carefully in order to help the technical service of Sony to find faster a solution, it seems that they don’t do that probably because they have lots of incidences similar to mine.

What I want to express in this post is that the exchange of information between parts of the supply chain is something very important, and people normally don’t pay enough attention to it.

Resultado de imagen de information is power

Metrobus logistics

Metrobus is the company of Metropolitan buses of Valencia, which is also known by the citizens as the “yellow buses”, whose job is to connect the city with the metropolitan area and the suburban zones. I choose this topic because it is my everyday problem, I live in a condominium near Valencia and the only way to get home is by using the Metrobus or taking a taxi, if I don’t have a car, which is my case. So, the affordable option for me is using the Metrobus, the problem with this bus is that it has low frequency, which means that the busses passes through the station every hour and if you can not reach the bus you must wait an hour for the next one or if you are in a hurry, take a cab. The other problem of this line of buses is the hour they began to pass everyday in the morning, the first busses passes through my place is at 7:16 am, there is not another earlier so if people had class or need to get to work before they just can’t with public transportation. Additionally, the latest bus that goes back from Valencia is at 20:46 pm, which is not that late on the evening, so going back home is also limited. Finally, for the weekends as it is normal on public transportation the frequency is much lower but in this case is exaggerated because people only have 3 chances for going out or going back. This is an example of a Metrobus schedule:

fullsizerender-2The Metrobus is in charge of providing service of public transportation to Valencia and the entire metropolitan area. Eight companies joined to build the Metrobus: Auvaca, Edetania Bus, Avsa-Autos Vallduxense, Fernanbus, buses Buñol, Buses Herca, Urbetur and Alsa. These companies had to paint their buses with yellow painting so people could recognize them; there are the fifty-eight (58) lines:  Line 161: Valencia-Alaquàs-Hospital Manises; Line 180: Valencia-Albal; Line 103: Alcàsser-Silla; Line 182: Valencia-Silla; Line 160: Valencia-Aldaia- CC Bonaire; Line 146: Valencia-Benaguasil; Line 105b: Vilamarxant-Benaguacil-Llíria; Line 105a: Vilamarxant- Riba-roja; Line 106: Quart de Poblet-CC Bonaire-Torrent; Line 107: Barrio del Cristo-Platja El Saler; Line 110: Valencia-Puçol; Line 111: Valencia-Port de Sagunt (por N-340); Line 115: Valencia-Port de Sagunt; Line 112: Valencia-Port Saplaya-Platja P. Farnals-El Puig; Line 120: Valencia-Moncada; Line 130: Estació Metro Empalme – Parc Tecnològic (por Burjassot); Line 130a: Estació Metro Empalme – Parc Tecnològic (por Facultat); Line 131: Valencia-Mas Camarena; Line 185: Valencia-Benifaió; Line 281: Valencia-Benifaió-Benimodo; Line 140: Valencia-Paterna; Line 145: Valencia-Llíria-Gestalgar; Line 150: Valencia-Manises-Aeroport; Line 155: Salt de l’Aigua- Riba-roja; Line 158: MARTXANTBUS-Valencia-Vila Marxant (directo); Line 170: Valencia-Torrent-Vedat; Line 181: Valencia-Picassent; Line 231: Estación metro Bétera-Hospital Dr. Moliner; Line 171: Valencia- Urbanización Cumbres de Calicanto; Line 101: Bº La Magdalena -Platja P. Farnals; Line 102: CIVIS-Sagunt-Port de Sagunt; Line 183: Valencia-Sedaví; Line 186: Valencia-Centre Penitenciari; Line 190a: Valencia- El Perelló; Line 190b: Valencia-El Palmar-El Perelló; Line 190c: Valencia-El Perelló-Mareny Blau; Line 191: Valencia-Playa de El Saler-Urb. Les Gavines; Line 201: Massamagrell-Serra; Line 230: Bétera-Serra; Line 260: Valencia-Godelleta-Turís; Line 265: Valencia-Cheste-Yátova; Line 266: Valencia-Cheste; Line 285: Valencia-Sollana-Cullera and Line 290: Valencia-El Perelló-Faro de Cullera.


Since it is an everyday problem for public transportation users, the frequency of the buses should be increased, and that will be a way of improving the service and increasing its efficiency. Maybe from Valencia’s transportation department perspective it is not profitable to increase the frequencies because they should have done studies about the amount of people who are using the service in the different hours and it is not that much. Therefore, it is a possibility that they have not change the busses frequency  because in their point of view it is not necessary but it should be a good idea to do another study and look for other possible options.


The Gate Tower Building

A couple of days ago I have seen an interesting documentary about a very unusual construction project in Japan which took a lot of logistical effort to accomplish. It is not very close related to our topics from the previous lectures but I still thought it would be nice to share it with you.

The Gate Tower Building is an office tower in Osaka, Japan. The special characteristic about
that building is that a highway leads directly through the building.


The tower was completed in 1992 and has in total 16 levels. The highway leads through the stories five, six and seven. The highway and the building are not touching each other at any point.

The owner of the property where the building is located now, refused to sell his property to the highway operator and insisted on building an office tower there, but since the plans for the highway were fixed, they had to come up with a new solution. As a result the architects Azusa Sekkei und Yamamoto-Nishihara Kenchiku Sekkei Jimushō designed the Gate Tower Building and the highway operator pays a monthly rent to the owner of the property. The rent is about 15000 Euro a month.




The moving assembly line invented by Henry Ford

On the 28th of February 2017 we visited with our Logistics course the production area of the Ford Motor Company in Valencia. During the trip it was mentioned that everything what we have seen there has its starting point in 1913 with the invention of the moving assembly line by Henry Ford.

Over one-hundred years ago Henry Ford and his team in Highland-Park/Detroit launched the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. The initial idea was to bring the work to the people. To do that, Ford’s famous T-Model was broken into 84 discrete steps, each performed by specialized, efficient workers. All this workers were stationed along a 150 foot line and consequently the moving assembly line brought the work to them. Every worker was just doing one step in the whole process of building a car.

The outcome of this idea was gigantic. Man hours to build one Ford T-Model dropped from 12 hours to fewer than 3. The number of production increased from 82.388 to 585.388 cars. As an effect of this, they could offer the T-Model at a cheaper price, starting with 600$ and decreased it to 300$.

But this invention had not only short effects to Fords in this time. This ideal of improve processes and produce efficient is still in the DNA of the Ford Company. As Fords executive vice president John Flemming says: “Building on the tradition of Henry Ford we are accelerating our effort to standardize products, make factories more flexible and introduce advanced technologies to efficiently build the best vehicles possible at the best value”.