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Syllabus for

Academic year
TEK620 - Management of physical distribution
Ledning och styrning av fysisk distribution
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSCM
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Industrial Engineering and Management

Teaching language: English
Application code: 37119
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   17 Mar 2021 pm J,  09 Jun 2021 am J,  19 Aug 2021 am J

In programs

MPSCM SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (compulsory elective)
MPSCM SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Dan Andersson

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

The course is compulsory elective for the students of the Master s programme Supply Chain Management. Other students may be accepted if there is room available. Admittance will be decided on a case-by-case basis. As a minimum, applicants should have taken basic courses within the fields of
(i) business administration (at least 7.5 hec),
(ii) general/operations management (at least 7.5 hec), and
(iii) supply chain management (at least 7.5 hec)


The aim of the course is to give extensive knowledge of the management of physical distribution, including the flow of goods from the shipping of finished products, transported via a number of nodes and actors, to the end customers/consumers. The course will provide an understanding of the relationships between cost, service and revenues, as well as environmental impact of distribution systems and how these are influenced by different factors, including price mechanisms. The physical distribution is viewed from the perspective of an individual company, a shipper or a logistics service provider.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Analyze and explain how physical distribution systems are managed.
  • Define and analyze resource utilization from a financial as well as environmental perspective while considering contextual influences.
  • Explain the general requirements and cost structures of different distribution systems.
  • Analyse and review economic models used in distribution.
  • Explain the relationships between cost and price for logistics and transport services in physical distribution, including defining fixed and marginal costs as well as environmental effects.
  • Use tools for quantitative analysis of distribution system data.


The course contains the following topics:
  • The demand for distribution services and how logistics and distribution services are procured.
  • Cost structures connected to the different physical distribution structures and combinations of modes of transport.
  • Components and functions of the physical distribution system and their coordination and control.
  • Division of roles and responsibilities along the distribution chain.
  • The role of logistics service providers in physical distribution.
  • The use of information systems to control the movement and the tracking and tracing of goods.
  • Price models for physical distribution services, and marginal cost pricing in relation to average cost.
  • Resource utilization with regards to financial, organizational and environmental issues.
  • Customer value and consumer surplus.


The course is built up around lectures, seminars and cases. Theory is combined with examples of practical applications in the industry. The course includes a mix of lectures, which introduce and explain the course material, and guest lectures, which give different actors and practitioners view on distribution. In order to stimulate the students learning and develop their analytical ability group assignments are included. These assignments are presented in seminars to facilitate discussion and reflection.


Textbooks, journal articles and hand-outs. An up-dated literature list is announced on the course web page before the course starts.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written assignments and a written exam.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.