The supply chain represents the various stages a product goes through before arriving at the end-user. In this context, the physical connection from the production site to the place of consumption is possible thanks to logistics. Both primary and secondary activities within the value chain of goods add value to manufactured products, since they are key factors in customer demand satisfaction.
What types of goods are carried in Europe?
Regardless of where we are, we always expect to find the goods we are looking for relatively easily. The point is that, when we buy a product, we almost never think about its origin or the journey to the shelf. It is important to be aware that our everyday items often travel thousands of kilometres before ending up in our hands.
Through the supply chain all the goods that we, as consumers, regularly require in order to meet our daily needs are provided. In percentage terms:
- 10% of the goods transported in Europe are the fruit of agriculture, that supplies consumer goods for short term use. Nonetheless, a small part of the transported products belonging to the primary sector come from fishing and forestry activities.
- 20% of the products crossing the European continent belong to the mining industry. Coal, crude oil, natural gas, ores, iron, and petroleum are just some of the unfinished goods traveling through the logistics process.
- Manufactured products hold the record and make the difference in the supply chain management, since 70% of the total goods come from this sector. Consumer durables, machinery, equipment, chemical products and everyday items have a great impact on the trade economy in Europe.
How are products transported in Europe?
According to Eurostat statistics, the leading country in the transportation of goods in Europe is Germany, that benefits a strategic position in the continent. As most of the other EU member states, it prioritises the roadway for the inland freight transport, which unfortunately is also the most polluting solution.
Nevertheless, in Eastern Europe, the rail transport represents the most efficient way of carrying goods. Countries such as Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia move products within the boundaries by exploiting mainly the railway rather than any other means.
Sailing the waterway is the most valuable option when transporting durable consumers and heavy goods worldwide. However, due to the conformation of the territory, the Netherlands favours its water network when shipping goods inland.
How to choose a fitting means of transport?
Depending on the type of freight, there is always a suitable means of transport. Look for the suitable Incoterm. Anyway, basic standards need to be considered before making a decision:
- Distance to be covered
- Time frame available
- Freight weight
- Carrying capacity
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