What Does Logistics Actually Involve?

Logistics and your business

Logistics is a term widely used to describe the sourcing, handling, packaging, transporting and distributing of goods or materials from the logistics for businesspoint of origin to the end user. It is a complex process that involves many people working together in order to achieve the right results.

With today’s busy consumer lifestyle, most people might think that logistics only covers the supply and distribution of material goods – gifts or items bought online, large household white goods picked from a catalogue, etc. But logistics covers more than you might think. It is also how urgent food, water or medicine is dropped into countries that need it most, or the secure delivery of military equipment to remote locations around the world.

Large businesses that produce materials for other companies may have their own small in-house logistics teams, where one or two logistics managers will oversee the production and distribution of the materials. Other businesses, particularly online retailers who may not have the time or space to efficiently supply their customers with their products, may use third party logistic companies that use their own specialist knowledge to provide a complete forward storage and supply system for a fee.

Where international logistics are concerned, there are more issues that can arise which a logistics company will have to solve before the supply chain can continue forward. Different legal systems and international shipping rules must be taken into account, as well as language barriers and customs and excise laws.

There are many branches of logistics that deal with the supply and distribution of goods, but probably the most widely recognised is the final part of the process, the distribution, because this is the part most people have had direct experience with, when they receive an item ordered online for example.

The other, lesser known aspects of logistics include sourcing, transportation, pick and packing, storing and maintaining stock and even in some cases, the actual production of items themselves. These are the processes that the public don’t see, but that make up a huge part of logistics in both the planning and execution.

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