Logistics refers to the management of flow of resources and commodities from their manufacturing depots to their point of consumption, keeping in mind the demand of local markets. The idea originally cropped up from the military sector where the need was to keep the armed troops constantly supplied with ration, arms and ammunition, as they moved forth from their base point. Logistic solutions regarding when and how to transport resources to army bases occupies an important place since without timely provisions, an army is as good as defenseless.
Nowadays logistic solutions have gained importance in various other sectors like manufacturing, import, exports, wholesaling, customs and most importantly transport businesses. The concept of logistics as a business came up due to the increasing complexities of supplying commodities to the target areas in a globalised supply chain. It essentially includes planning and implementing activity forecast for business houses regarding an efficient supply chain management based on statistics and market trends. It also provides a cost effective yet result oriented transportation strategy since transportation and delivery of goods is the key element of the logistic process. A warehouse management system forms the central kiosk of such a supply chain, controlling the receipt, storage and movement of materials within a warehouse and involving processes like transactions, shipping, receiving, picking, loading, unloading, etc. Today inventory planning, cost management and communication technology also constitutes a part of logistics solution for transportation businesses.
With distribution costs escalating higher and higher with every passing day, reaching the customer most efficiently with minimum investments is a major criteria to all the manufactures over the world. But for these, a proper market assessment for the local demand of the product in different regions is a prerequisite. Then a slotting analysis has to be done to decide upon the distribution centre design, layout and setup. There must also be a accommodation for re-slotting of distribution centres complying with the changing market statistics. All these have to be accomplished keeping an appropriate balance between cost and availability of space, easy access of transportation and reasonable labour charges. A study of transport logistics is all that is required to come up with the best available solution to the manufacturers in this respect.
Throughout the 20th century traditional methods of transport logistics has been declining, giving way to modern techniques like Just In Time (JIT) system which delivers goods directly from the suppliers to the customers end without involving the intermediary step of warehousing the products. This reduces the cost of transportation, time required to complete the task as well as he security risks involved with the process. But warehouses become an unavoidable necessity in cases that require off shoring activities. A logistic planner thus needs to consider all these factors before suggesting the best locations for warehouses. Also nowadays, the recent version of warehouse-styled retail outlets has gained enormous popularity in the market. This idea of utilising the warehouse dually as storage and distribution depots highly appeals to the modern day manufacturers because besides reducing the end cost to the buyers, it boosts the production sales ratio too. The introduction of internet and e-commerce has also left a strong impact on the development of logistic solutions in the field of warehousing distribution. Internet-based stores do not require a chain of outlets to sell their products; instead, their focus remains on a well-maintained delivery section and in this case again, warehouses serve no more than storage units.