Within the supply chain or network, a lot of different tools and equipment are used for handling, transporting or storing goods.
Some of them have been standardized, e.g. ISO container, to be fully multi-modally usable whilst others are just single mode items or for single use. [Martin 2000, pp. 54-61; Vahrenkamp 2005, pp. 327-333]
In general, it can be distinguished between standardized and non-standardized units. Standard Units are mostly organized in pools exchangeable among the partners and participants or provided by equipment rental companies.
While keeping track of the equipment all over the process a lot of administrative burdens occur and dispute in balancing the numbers could have a severe financial impact. [Martin 2000, pp. 54-61]
Handling equipment, like forklifts, however, will not be elaborated upon in this domain analysis.