Management of logistics operations related to the transport of goods by land, river and sea, or air.

What is transport flow management ?

Within the value chain, transport flow management consists of managing the movement of goods required for:

  • the supply of production chains, upstream ;
  • the distribution of goods to the end customer, downstream.

Goods may then be transported:

  • by land: by road and rail ;
  • by waterway, using waterways, rivers and canals ;
  • by sea for long-distance international transport ;
  • by air for the rapid transport of goods.

The transport of goods can also take place multimodally. This flow organisation method consists of combining different modes of transport to transport goods from one point in the value chain to another more efficiently and more economically.

The characteristics of good transport flow management

Good transport flow management:

  • defines the most efficient transport plans in terms of costs and lead times ;
  • ensures administrative follow-up and effective management of transport operations: planning shipments and routes to ensure the best load filling rates, track operations in real time and carry out the preinvoicing of services ;
  • reports on operations using performance indicators to analyse them and reduce transport costs.

To be optimised, transport flow management requires good visibility of the value chain. This means that the digitalisation of transport services is at the heart of transport flow management processes. This allows flow management to be improved by providing visibility and control tools for 360° operations.

With a comprehensive view of the flows, transport operators can be more reactive in case of a problem and improve the customer experience by providing information on deliveries in progress.



Examples and application

Today, various tools are used by supply chain operators to manage their transport flows effectively:

  • the TMS (or transport management system) allows companies to manage and rationalise their transport management processes: to select transport providers according to their needs, optimise the planning of routes, organise the loading and unloading of goods to limit the distances covered and proceed with the return of packages, make the link with accounting for the creation of invoices for products shipped, produce operations reports and obtain performance indicators, etc.
  • control towers may also be introduced and managed by transport and logistics operators such as GEFCO to facilitate the global management of transport operations. They provide full visibility of ongoing operations and allow for the effective management of transport flows in real time, in line with customs operations for international transport.

For a company, these digital tools are real operational and strategic assets. Here, it is a question of cost control, financial management and social and environmental responsibility.

Transport flow management in figures

Regulatory framework

Transport flow management is essential for traceability:

  • for the transport of fresh products
    • For foodstuffs of animal origin, reference should be made to the decree of 21 December 2009 concerning relevant sanitary rules, and EC regulation No 853/2004.
    • Other foodstuffs of non-animal origin are governed by the decree of 8 October 2013 and EC regulation No 852/2004.
    • The ATP agreement and the Hygiene Package.
  • and the delivery of dangerous goods.
    • Articles D. 1252‑1 - D. 1252‑7 of the Transport Code ;
    • For rail transport: the RID regulation ;
    • For road transport: the European ADR agreement.
    • For river transport: the European ADN agreement ;
    • For maritime transport: maritime codes and compendiums for TMD in packages or in bulk.

For air transport: technical instructions for the safety of air transport of dangerous goods.