June 28th is Logistics Day. Logistics Day recognizing and appreciates the importance that the logistics sector plays. Logistics refers to the process of moving and coordinating resources from one location to another. There are many different parts of this, from packaging and shipping. There is also a wealth of equipment, inventory, materials, and people involved. Logistics Day was created to celebrate all of this!
Whether or not you are a business owner, you will recognize that most businesses focus on designing and producing services and products that fit their customers’ needs. However, if these products do not reach the consumer base, the business is going to fail. This illustrates just how critical logistics is and why we celebrate it. Take a look around your home now. It would probably be empty if it were not for those working in the logistics industry.
When discussing logistics, you can generally separate this into five different elements. These are as follows…
- Materials handling, warehousing, and storage – Warehouse buildings are required in order to store stock until consumers need them. Specialist storage equipment, like material handling equipment, racks, and shelves, are required in order to move products around, as well as to load and unload items into delivery vehicles.
- Packaging and unitisation – Packaging is a key part of the care and condition of a product. Unitisation is also vital, as it aids transportation and storage. A cube is the easiest product for storage and handling. Because of this, unitisation and packaging will attempt to take all different shapes and sizes of a product and pack them as near as possible into a cuboid shape.
- Inventory – Inventory is a logistical element that is concerned with how much stock a company holds and where it is held.
- Transport – Of course, transport deals with getting products from one place to another. Goods would not be able to move along the supply chain without this. It involves all modes of transport, including air transport, cargo shipping, freight trains, and road vehicles.
- Information and control – This is needed across all elements, as it will determine how operational procedures are carried out. Information and control are needed to plan transport, for example, as well as picking and packaging in warehouses.
The term ‘logistics’ was originally coined as a military term. It was used to describe how military personnel moved, stored, and obtained supplies and equipment. Today, though, the term is widely used in the business sector, especially by businesses operating in the manufacturing industry. It is used to reference how resources are moved and handled in the supply chain.
The logistics sector first started to gain momentum when Marco Polo traveled on the Silk Road to China, keeping a detailed written record, which paved the way for merchants and traders to use this road between China and Europe in the future. In 1896, the first semi-truck (horseless carriage) was created. This improved how items would be transported. In 1910, the first-ever air cargo flight happened between Columbus and Dayton. This increased the speed at which products could be delivered within the United States. The first container ship also occurred across America, sailing to Texas from the port of New Jersey in 1956. This changed how products would move globally forever. And, this is how logistics started. Since then, the industry has only gone from strength to strength!
Now you know about the history of logistics, but what about the day itself? This was founded in 2019 by Logistics Plus Inc with the aiming of celebrating the growing and important logistics sector. The company has been supporting the logistics industry since 1996. It is headquartered in the historic Erie, Pennsylvania train station. The building has almost 50 country flags flying on top of it, representing the nationality of one of its customers or employees. This gives a nod to just how global logistics is in the current day and age.