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What is logistics?

Logistics is a field that includes planning, organization, implementation and control activities in the process from the production stage of goods and services to reaching the consumer. It is very difficult for any marketing or production organization to succeed without logistical support. Logistics can be defined as a tool to provide resources such as products, services and people, where they are needed and at the desired time. Logistics plays an important role in supply chain management and ensures effective and efficient management of material flow. It encompasses the consolidation of logistics, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling and packaging information.

Logistics management is part of supply chain management and supply chain engineering. The Supply Chain Experts Council (CSCMP), the world's largest logistics organization, has Logistics; It refers to all processes of a product from the first producer to the final consumer, such as transportation, storage, customs clearance, packaging, distribution. Logistics is the process of strategically managing the procurement, movement and storage of materials, products and finished inventory across organizational and marketing channels in a way that maximizes current and future profitability, ensuring cost efficiency in fulfilling orders. In general terms, we can define logistics with the words of Roy D. Shapiro; “The right material, in the right quantity, at the right place, at the right time, in the right condition, at the right price”.

What is the concept of logistics and its origin?

The word logistics has been used in different meanings in history and has come to today's trade-business usage. Derived from the Greek word "logisticos", it means calculus, the science of making books, or "skill in calculus". Logistics is a concept born out of the process of meeting the needs of the soldiers themselves. In the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations there were departments and officers called “Logistikas”, who were responsible for the distribution and financing of necessities. Oxford University, the word logistics in its dictionary; It is described as "a branch of military science concerned with personnel, equipment, material handling and maintenance". Today, it covers all of the processes that are carried out during the delivery period of a product.

What does logistics do?

Logistics has adapted to business life after the 1950s. In the business world, logistics is in a flow from the supplier to the end user (supply chain); It can be inward or outward oriented or both. The main functions of logistics management are purchasing, transportation, warehousing, inventory entry, ensuring correct information flow, and organizing and planning these activities. Logistics managers combine information from each of these functions by coordinating resources within an organization. Logistics; It is the harmonious execution of interrelated activities that come together to form a supply chain to create space and time benefits for customers. Logistics processes are of great importance for the purpose of logistics, meeting customer requirements in a timely and cost-effective manner.

In the logistics process, it consists of a whole that includes the customs clearance, transportation, distribution, storage and packaging of the products. This sector, which emerged in the United States, later spread to Europe with American companies.

Logistics is a very broad and diverse subject. Many products that we use in our daily life have a logistics process. Logistics, especially today, with all sectors in communication with each other, a problem or a pause in the logistics process of any product causes such a strong effect that daily life will pause.

Logistics generally does the following:

• Supply Chain Planning: Makes strategic planning for the procurement, distribution and stocking of materials and products, starting from production. It prevents unnecessary costs and optimizes resources by ensuring the coordination of all stages in the supply chain.

• Transportation Management: It deals with the transportation, security and tracking of goods and products. It enables the appropriate selection and management of different modes of transport (road, rail, sea, air).

• Storage and Stock Management: Performs the storage, management and stocking of goods and products. It works to determine stock levels and to use stock effectively.

• Customer Services: Follows up and coordinates delivery processes to meet customer needs. It focuses on timely and accurate deliveries to increase customer satisfaction.

• Data Analytics: It uses data analytics and reporting methods to monitor, analyze and improve logistics processes.

• Risk Management: Identifies possible risks that may arise in logistics processes and takes measures to reduce these risks.

• Sustainability: It works to make logistics processes environmentally and socially sustainable.


What are the fields, types of logistics activities?

Logistics offers services in several different areas. International logistics, third-party logistics, integrated logistics support, transportation, stock management, warehousing, military logistics, information logistics, autonomous logistics, sorting, logistics center and distribution center services, warehousing services, order fulfillment, packaging, medical logistics, green logistics, materials and equipment, order processing, estimation, production planning, purchasing, customer service, location selection, customs clearance and transportation operations and tend to meet customer needs.

Logistics Types:

• Production logistics

• Supply Logistics

• Distribution Logistics

• Return Logistics (Reverse Logistics)

Basic Logistics Activities include transportation, foreign trade, stock management, warehousing, shipment planning and fleet management. Let's briefly review the logistics activities:

  • Transport

Shipping, which is the cornerstone of trade, means the process of transporting a cargo from its origin to its destination. Transportation services, which were offered as road transportation in the early days, started to operate by sea and air, with the increase in international cargo shipments as well as domestically in our life, where transit trade networks were expanded and developed.

  • Foreign trade

Foreign trade is the removal of products, services or capital from the borders of the country through international logistics companies. With the increasing population and changing consumption habits, serial and continuous production has become a necessity for societies. Foreign trade activities arising from this need, the raw material or product required for production are provided through foreign trade through trade relations established in other places.

  • Stock Management

Inventory management means the planning methods that companies need in order to balance supply and demand.

  •  Storage

The process of preserving the received cargo at a certain point until it sets off again is called storage.

  • Shipment Planning

It is the process of fulfilling the wishes of the cargo owner completely and planning the transportation activities to be provided in the most economical condition possible for the cargo owner.

  • Fleet Management

Determination of the number of vehicles to be used in domestic or international cargo shipments, and the processes in which the necessary maintenance and controls are made by the logistics company.

Logistics has become an interesting profession for industrial and commercial professions, especially at the academic level. The 2014 Logistics Performance Index, a current study by the World Bank, considers the training of logistics experts and supply chain management experts to be one of the most important tasks in terms of the functioning of the global economy. Management Scientist Peter Drucker, on the other hand, defined logistics as the 'dark mainland of the economy', but explained it as one of the most ignored and brightest business areas.