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The University of Southampton

CENV6170 Logistics Systems Operations

Module Overview

This module provides a comprehensive overview of the main features of logistic system operations. During the module, students will develop an appreciation for the different ways in which goods and services are managed and handled across the different transport modes from consignor to consignee and the range of different issues that have to be considered when planning such logistics operations. The module combines theoretical analysis with case study examination and practical field trips to ensure that students experience the logistics systems first-hand. The module takes advantage of the University of Southampton’s substantial experience and expertise in logistics research, and will make use of case studies based on recent and ongoing research projects for local authorities, industry, the EU and EPSRC.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The role and design of warehouses and distribution centres (chilled, ambient and frozen) in the supply chain.
  • Air freight logistics management.
  • How freight and logistics systems can be better catered for in urban planning (delivery and service planning).
  • The law related to the carriage of goods.
  • The law relating to vehicle use and licencing regulations, and drivers’ hours.
  • The routing and scheduling challenge faced by logistics providers and the software designed to aid the optimisation process.
  • The impacts e-commerce has on logistics functions.
  • The different operating models for ‘last-mile’ logistics and the characteristics of those systems.
  • Waste logistics and the reverse logistics system.
  • Service logistics in urban areas and its impacts on vehicle movements.
  • Port logistics systems and community networks.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Contrast and compare the various logistics systems used for managing forward and reverse goods movements in urban areas.
  • Identify and describe the various systems and technologies used to manage logistics fleets across the different modes.
  • Understand how to undertake a business delivery and service plan to quantify forward, reverse and service logistics impacts.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Time management.
  • Collating, synthesising and prioritising information.
  • Learning, studying and researching independently.
  • Reporting your work effectively.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan and undertake a business delivery and service plan.
  • Interpret drivers’ hours and vehicle use regulations.
  • Make use of logistics literature to evaluate the merits of adopting various logistics technologies.


This module introduces students to the challenges of supplying goods and services to urban centres, removing waste and recyclate, and the ways in which the associated vehicle fleets, along with their supporting infrastructure are operated and managed. The course centres around a series of lectures which are complemented by site visits to specific logistics facilities so that the logistics operating systems and concepts can be appreciated in reality. Contact time in the module will include the following sessions, including a mix of different delivery modes as decided by individual lecturers in consultation with the module lead: 1) Introduction to forward and reverse logistics in retail supply chains, 2) The role and design of warehouses and distribution centres (chilled, ambient and frozen) in the supply chain. 3) FIELD TRIP – Warehouse facility – Meachers. 4) Vehicles used in logistics, licencing regulations and drivers’ hours. 5) Routing and scheduling concepts and practices in logistics operations. 6) The challenges of meeting customer demands - Last-mile urban logistics. 7) FIELD TRIP – Regional distribution centre – TNT/UPS. 8) The logistics of waste, recyclate and service management. 9) Logistics systems used in port operations. 10) FIELD TRIP – ABP & DPWorld Southampton. 11) Logistics systems used in rail freight operations. 12) Logistics systems used in air freight operations. 13) Understanding and mitigating freight impacts – Delivery and Service planning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A mixture of classroom-based teaching and learning methods will be used, including lectures, group work and class discussions. These will be supplemented by videos, self-study, and field trips to local logistics facilities.

Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Completion of assessment task70
External visits6
Follow-up work10
Wider reading or practice30
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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