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Logistics

Logistics refers to the coordination and movement of supplies from manufacturer to distribution center to end retailer. Managing all these activities falls into the category of logistics management and logistics companies have specialized in this area of business. Logistics companies focusing on freight logistics typically manage the shipment of larger items. Global logistics companies focus on the movement of products and supplies across international borders including the myriad customs paperwork that comes with it. While some companies have built internal skills around logistics, most use logistics outsourcing services (or 3PL's - third party logistics companies).

Also associated with logistics is supply chain management which deals in optimizing the transportation and logistics of material movement from one place to another. This can include the use of 3PL's, freight forwarding companies, trucking companies, freight brokers, and other similar companies and service providers.

The new buzzword in logistics is RFID or radio frequency identification. These are small tags placed on shipments that can track location via gps receivers, temperature, pressure, time, shock and other variables along the route. This information is fed to shipping managers to assist in tracking and acceptance.



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