Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Business Management

Distribution and delivery

Distribution and Delivery

Once a product is made it still has to reach the retailers or wholesalers and finally the end user, the consumer. This is where distribution and delivery come in.


forklift in warehouse

Firms need to store their raw materials or works in progress in a storeroom. Their finished goods, however, are held in a warehouse until they are available for delivery.

A warehouse has to be secure to prevent break-ins and theft, and in some cases certain goods must have to be stored at a certain temperature.

Holding stock in a warehouse naturally has financial implications in terms of the amount of stock needed in the warehouse.


Firms operate either a centralised warehousing policy where all stock is held in one location before dispatch or decentralised warehousing which results in many smaller warehouses at locations throughout the country.


How the goods are delivered to the retailer or customer again has cost implications. Air cargo freight is very expensive and the least used way to ship goods. Container ships are a common way to send large or bulky goods vast distances across the Oceans but it is a long process due to the slow speed of the container ship, the long unloading and loading process, and then the delivery from the port to the destination.

Rail is often used in the transportation of fuels. It is less popular in the UK and Europe as in the United States.

Road haulage is the most common delivery service in the UK. Food is mainly distributed by road as many goods are perishable and have to be delivered quickly. A major advantage of delivery by road is door-to-door delivery. Eddie Stobart is Britain’s most famous road haulier.


A plan of how production is going to be organised is called scheduling. It aims to fulfil the aims of Operations in that the right materials will be in production at the right station with the right employee using the right tools to do the job. Efficient scheduling can cut down on wasted time.


Deborah Meaden

Business videos

Business tips from experts including Lord Sugar and Deborah Meaden.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.