Integrated Logistics Practices for the Food Industry

Written by Leong King Fatt Cyrus, DLSM

Integrated logistics is the one-stop solution to the shipping and logistic requirements of the company. Fast and secured transportation is the key requirement of any business. The transportation of raw material, as well as the finished products, is an important part of the development of all businesses. The proper planning and arrangement of integrated logistics are therefore required to have interrupted supply chain management.

The integrated logistics ensure that you get the fully arranged logistics services like shipping, warehousing, trucking and stevedoring. To achieve effective integrated logistics operations in the food industry there are a few practices which are highly recommended in the current market.

Integrated framework of purchasing

The diagram above shows an integrated framework of purchasing, transportation, and warehousing.

Effective Planning of Logistics Process

The initial step to achieving a task is planning. Presently, arranging exemplifies different variables. It includes securing the stock, storage facilities, and conveyance of items to the accurate area. Apart from these, other parameters are time, transportation, and costs. A supply chain operative should be able to devise the stream diagram for the entire activity. The reason for arranging is to accomplish the most extreme work at all conceivable time. In the meantime, the planning should go for boosting the benefits.

Appropriate planning is an insightful arrangement, yet an experienced manager will most likely plan for the unanticipated conditions too. These circumstances can be identified with:

  • The products
  • Unavailability of the transportation
  • Any internal issue in the organization
  • Research and pick the correct Freight class.

With a good planning process, you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and catch new developments so you can adjust. Plan vs. actual analysis is a dashboard, and adjusting the plan is steering.

Implementation of Warehouse Management System (WMS)

A WMS is an instrumental part of the supply chain. The supply chain’s primary goal is to track and control products. Such as, tracking movement of products, and controlling inventory actions. Including, receiving, adding, picking, quality control, shipping, reporting, and forecasting. Implementing a WMS can help an organization reduce labor costs, improve inventory accuracy, improve flexibility and responsiveness, decrease errors in picking and shipping goods, and improve customer service. Modern warehouse management systems operate with real-time data, allowing the organization to manage the most current information on activities like orders, shipments, receipts and any movement of goods.

Implementation of Transportation Management System (TMS)

TMS is offered as a module within enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SCM suites and helps organizations move inbound — procurement — and outbound — shipment — freight using tools such as route planning and optimization, load building, operations execution, freight audit and payment, yard management, order visibility, and carrier management. The ultimate goals of using a TMS are to improve shipment efficiency, reduce costs, gain real-time supply chain visibility and enhance customer service.

A fully deployed transportation management system can benefit organizations in the following ways:

• Transportation order planning and execution
• Supply chain visibility and better control of inventory management.
• Reduce invoice errors.
• Transport intelligence.

A key activity is to provide for the movement of materials and goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Transportation involves selection of the mode (e.g., air, rail, water, truck, or pipeline), the routing of the shipment.

Transportation Management System

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Automation technology for warehouse operations

Warehouse automation is widely touted as one of the most effective ways to boost ROI by reducing labor demands, enhancing accuracy, and improving efficiency. “One indisputable fact exists,” according to Supply Chain Management Review. Warehouse automation is one of the last areas where long-term costs can be significantly reduced.” But some think of warehouse automation as software, while others think about the idea of automating a warehouse as implementing automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS). In reality, complete warehouse automation entails automating a variety of aspects of operations, from automatic data capture to software systems, storage and retrieval, and more.

Supply Chain Ads

At its core, automation revolves around identifying repetitive tasks that are process-oriented, time-consuming, or error-prone, and finding ways to automate them. And as anyone in the warehousing industry is well aware, warehouses are rife with repeatable, process-oriented, and error-prone tasks, ranging from manual documentation errors to picking and stocking errors, shipping and receiving errors, and much more.

For this reason, there are many aspects of warehouse operations that can be automated, including:

Picking automation – Modular shelving systems combined with warehouse robotics are making it possible to automate the picking process.

Barcode labels and scanning automation – Warehouses rely heavily on documentation to keep track of which items are moving in and out of the facility, to speed up the picking and stocking process and manage inventory.

Automated vehicles – Forklifts and pallet jacks are among the traditional equipment used to move goods throughout a warehouse facility, but even this aspect of warehousing is becoming automated today thanks to self-guided forklifts and pallet carts, known collectively as automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

Conducting a food safety course for warehouse staff

Food safety law requires businesses to provide food handlers with an understanding of food safety. This enables them to minimize contamination when handling food products and help their establishment uphold a suitable safety system. An effective way to communicate this information is through food hygiene training, which teaches food handlers how to apply proper handling, storage, and cleaning techniques.

These good practices prevent customers from suffering food poisoning and allergic reactions, help minimize food waste, and boost efficiency. But above all, they make your food premises a pleasant, safe place to eat for customers, which means they’ll likely return and recommend you to others. More specifically, food hygiene training enables you to achieve the following benefits:

• Prevent cross-contamination-
• Reduce food waste
• Improve efficiency
• Promote a positive workplace culture
• Build a positive reputation


Logistics and transportation systems consist of interdependent relationship. Since transportation contributes to the highest cost among the related elements in logistics systems, the improvement of transport efficiency can change the overall performance of a logistics system. Transportation plays an important role in the logistics system and its activities appear in various sections of logistics processes. Without the linking of transportation, a powerful logistics strategy cannot bring its capacity into full play.


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SazaliSalleh, PDWM. (2019). “5 Best Practices for an effective warehouse”. Retrieved from SIPMM:, accessed11/04/2019.

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About the Author: Cyrus Leong King Fatt has several years of experiences in the field of warehousing and logistics operations, specifically in the food industry. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). He completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on June 2019 at SIPMM Institute.