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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN3040 Physical Distribution and Logistics

10 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Tony Whiteing

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This 10-credit module equips students with a broad understanding of logistics and distribution systems, as seen from the perspectives of both society and the freight industry. Both traditional and more modern systems are considered. You will learn, for example, how goods reach the supermarket shelves from suppliers the world over, and how global logistics systems are configured and managed. We also consider how improvements might be brought about, for example identifying the best combination of road, rail and shipping. The various environmental problems associated with freight transport and logistics operations are identified, and policy options for alleviating these problems are discussed. Teaching is by traditional small-group lectures supported by classes. On completion of this module, students will possess valuable skills currently much sought after by transport consultancies and governmental organisations.There are no specific prerequisites for this module but some quantitative background is necessary, such as that provided by a first-year quantitative methods module. The module assessment is 67% exam and 33% coursework.


After completing this module, students should have a broad understanding of logistics and distribution systems from the perspectives both of society and of the freight industry.

Learning outcomes
Students will gain knowledge of freight transport and logistics systems from both a GB and international perspective, with a focus on environmental problems arising from freight and logistics operations and potential solutions to such problems.


Elements of distribution systems, including the complete supply chain, warehouses and depots, trunk haulage and distribution systems.
Implications of Just-In-Time, lean and agile production and IT-based systems.
Freight demand analysis, including demand generation by sector, handling factors and length of haul.
Mode choice decisions - cost and quality of service factors.
Total distribution costs, logistics networks, depot location and stock control.
Environmental problems and ways of dealing with them.
Global supply chains and international transport.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Preparation, exercises, revision - 64 hours
Coursework - 14 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students are given sets of exercises covered later in classes to check that students are progressing.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentVaries33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)67.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/05/2016


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