The History of Shipping — Part 4: Logistics

What Do We Mean by “Logistics?”                    

Logistics is the routine we use when getting manufactured goods from the location of production to the location where it will be purchased from in order to meet the necessities of consumers and business corporations. Part of the term logistics deals with physical items such as food and beverages, equipment, and materials. More specifically, the material handling, packaging, inventory, transportation, and warehousing of a product, and every step that makes our goods available to us. Intangible matters such as time management and all pieces of detailed information are part of the logistics process as well.

The Origin of Logistics

Logistics as a concept has been around since there have been wars. The term originally had to do with the military and the process of supplying equipment and supplies to troops. Now, logistics progressed into a business concept in the 1950’s with the increasing intricacy of supplying industries with materials and shipping products in a progressively globalized supply chain.

Types of Logistics

  • Inbound Logistics
    • The primary processes of purchasing and movement of materials
  • Outbound Logistics
    • The process related to storage and movement of the final product
  • Procurement Logistics
    • Market research, requirements planning, and order controlling
  • Distribution Logistics
    • The delivery of finished products to the consumer: processing, warehousing, and transportation
  • Disposal Logistics
    • Disposal of waste produced
  • Reverse Logistics
    • Steps for the reuse of a product
  • Green Logistics
    • Steps for minimizing ecological impact
  • RAM Logistics
    • Reliability, Availability, Maintainability; business and military related
  • Asset Control Logistics
    • Assets required for the display, preservation, and promotion of products
  • Emergency Logistics
    • The logistics of transport in the case of an emergency

Business vs. Military Logistics

history of military logistics
  • Business Logistics -- Having the correct product in the right quantity and at the right time and place for a specific price to sell to a customer.
  • Military Logistics -- The process of maintaining one’s supply line in the military, which is ultimately a crucial element of a war strategy in the military.

How Have Logistics Evolved?

As time evolves, logistics continues to stem into a larger concept with a growing number of aspects. Business logistics have positively evolved since the 1950’s due to the increase in complexity of supplying business with purchasable goods. Today we use the term “logistics” to describe the efficient flow and storage of these purchasable goods. Not only are we concerned with the supply chain process, but now we are concerned with all areas of the process such as disposal and reuse.

Why are Logistics Important?

Even the smallest businesses need suppliers, or if not, at least inventory or transportation. The success of any industry relies on a functional logistics process. Not to mention, we as consumers would not have the products we need to survive if there were no logistics system. With that being said, the world would be a chaotic mess of wild savages without logistics.

How the World Would be Without Logistics?