In essence, distribution involves moving goods from one point to another point. In this simplest form, very little planning would be required. There are, however, many pressures that bear down on those responsible for the logistics behind successful distribution. There are usually many requirements that logisticians need to satisfy when planning deliveries. These requirements include:

  • Satisfying all statutory regulations
  • Ensuring that the most efficient mode(s) of transport are used
  • Ensuring the goods are available at the time of loading
  • Ensuring that personnel are available for trailer cleaning, loading and driving
  • Ensuring that the temperature sensitive goods are in shipped vehicles with the correct equipment
  • Ensuring that goods that require special handling and shipping methods are correctly dealt with
  • Ensuring that goods that should not be shipped together are segregated
  • Ensuring that there is optimum use of labour so that excessive premium rate hours are not worked
  • Selecting the most efficient route
  • Taking into the account stops en route
  • Ensuring that personal requirements of the driver are taken into account
  • Ensuring that routes avoid low-level bridges and other obstacles that will slow down or prevent delivery
  • Taking into account any restrictions at the delivery point
  • Taking into account the required location of the vehicle after the delivery has ended
  • Ensuring that the goods are delivered at the agreed time
  • Taking into account goods that need to be collected

These requirements can be so numerous and complex that very often a computer system is used to aid in the planning process