Physical distribution refers to the movement of finished goods from a company's distribution and fulfillment network to the end user. In ecommerce, physical distribution involves several ecommerce supply chain activities including warehousing, inventory control, order processing, retail fulfillment, and shipping.
Rodrigue and Hesse write “Physical distribution includes all the functions of movement and handling of goods, particularly transportation services (trucking, freight rail, air freight, inland waterways, marine shipping, and pipelines), transshipment and warehousing services (e.g. consignment, storage, inventory management), trade, wholesale and, in principle, retail”.
Distribution is the process of making your embedded system available for use by a consumer or a business. Distribution can use either direct or indirect means to put the systems into the customer’s hand. Indirect means employ channels, which are separate but interdependent companies that work together to supply the product to the customer. Table 16.2 defines three different types of distribution; you will probably use either selective or exclusive distribution to deliver your embedded systems to customers.
Physical distribution in supply chain management deals with the series of actions that moves final products from production to the consumer. The channels involved include warehousing, inventory control, order processing, materials handling, transportation, and customer service.