Transportation is not only a critical component of societies and the global economy, but the effective management of transportation is important to the sustainable success of organizations. Many small and mid-size firms do not have a comprehensive transportation strategy to manage their inputs (such as supplies) or outputs (such as finished goods). Fast-growing firms also stumble during growth phases when customers from across the country or across the globe begin to demand their products. Because there are constant changes in geopolitics, regulations, and business needs, even large multinational organizations require constant evaluation of their transportation networks.
In the summative assessment for this course, you will draw from the information covered in the course modules, as well as from relevant research, to develop a comprehensive transportation plan for the scenario provided below.
Milestone One addresses the following course outcomes:
Assess various transportation methods for determining the optimal modal mix that meets operational requirements
Develop comprehensive managerial strategies for planning and executing a global transportation network
Prompt: You work for a company in Manchester, NH that manufactures a unique running shoe that has grown in popularity beyond the local region and is now being demanded across the United States. Your current distribution centers are located in Albany, NY, Phoenix, AZ, and Jacksonville, FL. Your company has also begun to receive inquiries from retailers in the European Union that are interested in selling your shoes. To begin selling overseas, your company has partnered with a company that will manage a distribution center in Munich, Germany.
While looking into your current distribution plans, you find that you have no comprehensive transportation plan. You see that transportation in your company is typically an afterthought; this will not do if you are going to begin selling across the United States and Europe, as planned.
For this assessment, you will begin developing a comprehensive strategy for planning and executing a global transportation network. You will analyze your company’s transportation needs and make a recommendation for mode selection to each of the distribution hubs. You will need to address the intermodal linkages of your logistical network and explain how you plan to minimize cost while keeping efficiency at a high level. Be sure to refer to concepts learned in this course and include additional peer-reviewed research to support your conclusions.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed in this milestone:
I. Modes of Transportation
A. Choose various modes of transportation to move your product to your distribution centers in Albany, NY, Phoenix, AZ, and Jacksonville, FL. Which mode(s) of transportation do you propose to transport large quantities of shoes to each location? Be sure to provide logical explanations for your choice of transportation to each distribution center.
B. Summarize how you would construct an intermodal network to reach Munich, Germany on a consistent basis from Manchester, NH. Be sure to describe and justify your choice of ports, shipping container, and mode. Because cost is the biggest concern for the company, expedited shipments are not a priority currently, though they might be in the future.
C. Considering your modal choices to transport goods to the continental United States and Europe, research existing carriers that you could use for each route and choose the most preferable providers. Be sure to consider third-party logistics providers and freight forwarders, if applicable. Using a weighted decision matrix may help you decide which vendors to utilize. Provide a brief overview of the companies that you chose, why these were your preferred vendors, and support your answer with appropriate sources.
D. Considering your modal choices above, compare and contrast the environmental impacts of each. Considering consumers’ value judgments, what weight should be given to these choices? It may be helpful to use a decision matrix when deciding how to weight these choices. Explain how these factors (environmental impact and consumers’ value judgments) interact with one another to affect your ultimate strategic transportation plan.