Logistics is a branch of engineering which design, create and maintain a machine of people whose goals are to efficiently provide flow of goods and/or services with respect to a time frame. The term logistics is taken as transportation management, and not just the scope for truck driving jobs. Logistics also covers other aspects such as provision of services at right time and place and optimizing human resource cost by employing incentives like outsourcing.
Originally logistics was developed by Romans. The Roman and later Byzantine Armies had officers named “Logistikas”, their purpose was to manage supply chain of the army which involved transportation of arms, ammunition and most importantly rations for the army. Their duties also involved distribution of finance in the army according to their needs.
Logistics functions are; human resource management in their organization and its different stations, management of space available for storage and optimizing its utility, management of transportation resources, equipment and load boards (trucks, mini-trucks, forklifts etc.), Material handling and proper packaging arrangement for goods and available loads to be transferred. Human resource management in logistic is not also akin to the usual HRM, its function is to locate and transport the required skilled personnel where he is needed. Job of a logistician is to carry out these functions, monitor and control these activities.
Recently the principals and concepts from logistics theory are being implemented to civilian trucking industry in the country. Need of a logistics transport model was needed in the sector due to increasing complexity of supply chains and life cycles of different organizations. As a result large businesses entirely focused on trucking logistics emerged.
For larger organizations which require frequent transportation of feedstock and products, it might not be possible to maintain an efficient in house transportation network. They are looking towards outsourcing for answers. Outsourcing means hiring a third party to perform in-house operations more effectively. The concepts of out sourcing are relatively new in management sciences. Third party logistics (shortly called 3PL) is an example of outsourcing.
A third party logistics company provides transportation facilities for both inbound and outbound transportation. Just like owner operator jobs, trucking and logistics outsourcing is an emerging business all over the globe and in United States particularly. A slightly different concept has been arising in trucking logistics outsourcing recently. A fourth party logistics outsourcing is a type of external logistical support from and organization which finds assembles and provides all the resources needed to erect a comprehensive supply chain. The service provider may take help from other more specialized and narrowed service providers. In short 4PL outsourcing service provider is the one which gathers 3PL providers to face bigger problems and offers comprehensive solutions.
Running a successful trucking logistic business requires knowledge of transportation rules and regulation by national authorities and also by the different state authorities, load management of the available loads, ware house management and inventory management. Logistic businesses are focusing on global markets. It might not be far away that there be global transportation and supply channel providers under one roof. Logistics then would not be limited to land transportation and trucks of course. Bigger problems will demand for greater solutions.