Origins of Logistics

The term logistics comes from the late 19th century: from French logistique, from loger ‘to lodge’.

Logistics is considered to have originated in the military’s need to supply themselves with arms, ammunition and rations as they moved from their base to a forward position. In ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine empires, military officers with the title Logistikas were responsible for financial and supply distribution matters.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines logistics as “the branch of military science relating to procuring, maintaining and transporting material, personnel and facilities.” However, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines logistics as “the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies” and the Oxford Dictionary online defines it as, “the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation:” Another dictionary definition is “the time-related positioning of resources.” As such, logistics is commonly seen as a branch of engineering that creates “people systems” rather than “machine systems”. When talking in terms of human resources management, logistics means giving inputs, i.e. “recruiting manpowers”, which ultimately work for the final consumer or to delivery

According to the Council of Logistics Management, logistics contains the integrated planning, control, realization and monitoring of all internal and network-wide material-, part- and product flow including the necessary information flow in industrial and trading companies along the complete value-added chain (and product life cycle) for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.

Logistics is the process of planning, implementing, controlling, effective and efficient flow of goods and services form the point of origin to the point of consumption.

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