The Evolution of Logistics/Supply Chain in the 21st Century

From the late 1890s to the 21st Century, the logistics & supply chain received transformation in means of transportation and speed. Over one hundred years ago, the term logistics came into existence in a published article. Today, major corporations and brands use the terms logistics and supply chain for transporting products from the suppliers to customers.

Companies transport goods, raw materials, and commodities by train, boats, air, and ships. By the late 20th Century, the internet became a gateway for suppliers to reduce costs with direct contact to distributors. Today, retailers are advancing the digital logistics & supply chain to meet the high demand of next-day and same-day deliveries.

Logistics and the supply chain continue to evolve in the 21st Century with new technologies, including artificial technology (AI). Integrating AI, blockchain, and automation into a digital supply networking system is a powerful tool. The system collects data and information pertaining to geographical locations and customers.

Companies in the US and global are using automatic systems for deliveries by drones and vehicles. Logistics & supply chain will continue to evolve using the digital model approach and AI. If you are a retailer, it will help reduce costs and provide you with an analysis about your customers shopping behavior.

The design of logistics is to fulfill orders for raw materials, products, and commodities purchased by merchandisers and consumers. It processes comprise production, location of supplier and customers, time of delivery, and control of the supply chain. Logistics and supply chain management are similar and interchangeable.

Seven Functions of Logistic/Supply Chain

  • Incoming and outgoing transportation of products.
  • Warehousing for storage.
  • Order fulfillment.
  • Logistics network.
  • Inventory management.
  • Planning for supply and demand.
  • Third party logistics management services by trucks, trains, ships, and planes.

Transportation is the main source you need to receive merchandise from suppliers and to ship to your customers. With logistics and supply chain management, you can manage warehousing, materials, and inventory. In the digital world, it enables you to design your own logistics network and to plan for unexpected supply demands.

Hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes manufacturing and marketing products have an on-site fleet transportation or use a third party. Whether your company is national or international, there are governmental regulations for security and taxation. The Obama Administration introduced the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security in 2012.

New technologies integrated with artificial intelligence, automation, and block chain are transforming the delivery services industry. The ultimate benefits are reducing costs, efficiencies in fulfilling and tracking deliveries, and recording data and information. The evolution of logistics/supply chain will continue to advance as the demand continues to increase for next-day and same-day deliveries.