Transport and logistics

Movement of people and goods is fundamental to economic and social activities. Effective transport and logistics is essential to support economic development and engagement in the global economy.

So what is the difference between transport and logistics? Logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption. So to sum up, logistics requires careful planning while transportation is the mechanism for moving things.

Each movement starts somewhere, may have a number of stops on route and ends with a final destination. When transport systems work well they are often invisible to the consumer and because they are so efficient we take them for granted. However we are increasingly dependent on globalised transport systems to support all aspects of our lives and it is only when things go wrong that we notice them.

Ensuring our transport and logistics systems run efficiently and effectively it is of crucial importance to people, business and the economy. From thinking about the size, shape, weight and other physical characteristics of the product and its impact on it, transportation and handling to removing unnecessary mileage to maximise the miles that vehicles cover every day needs considerable skill and knowledge. Much of the thinking is geographical in nature, focusing on spatial analysis and the need to better understand specialised concepts such as systems and flows, globalisation, interdependence and sustainability.

For a summary of the value of logistics and the work of CILT, watch this video:

These GA resources, produced in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK – CILT (UK), address a number of pressing issues through engaging enquiry questions that explore a range of aspects of transport and logistics. They develop greater geographical knowledge and understanding and encourage students to apply this knowledge in real word contexts and ‘think like geographers’. At the same time they are improving a range of skills that are important in the workplace - communication, numeracy, IT, problem solving and working with others.

There are eight lesson plans with accompanying material, each on a different sector. They are designed to provide contexts that engage students with their topicality and relevance to their lives, as well as offer scope for explorations using tools such as spatial technologies and GIS, fieldwork, web based research and literacy tasks.

GA members can download Word versions of each lesson - see the link at the top of each page



Alan Parkinson is Head of Geography at King’s Ely Junior with responsibility for KS2/3. He is a Primary Geography Champion for the East of England, and also serves on the GA’s Secondary Phase Committee.

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