Logistics is (practically) everywhere, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Logistics and supply chain management ensure that goods and products are always where they are needed - across all sectors and worldwide. But not all logistics activities are always labelled "logistics" - and that's why many people often believe this sector of the economy is limited to the trinity of "transport, transshipment and warehousing". Logistics is much more than this, however - and this is underlined by a term that is nowadays synonymous with logistics: namely "supply chain management", in other words, the intelligent planning and control of value added chains.
With increasing globalisation, logistics has become more and more important year by year - and it paves the way for this ongoing globalisation process. Today, procurement, production and sales generally take place on a global level. The automotive sector is an excellent example of this: a car destined for the Scandinavian market is built in Slovakia, using parts produced in various countries of Europe and Asia. This process only works if logistics and supply chain management create the necessary links and connections by ensuring the planning, organisation and control of the international flows of goods and information.
In today's world, logistics companies also handle certain stages in the production process and provide value-adding services. Some of the special features and accessories in imported new cars, for example - such as leather seats, sport rims or satnav systems - are not fitted in the manufacturing plant but in the workshop of the logistics provider in the country of destination. It's a logistics service provider who puts the red hat on a bottle of tequila - and who puts together the gift packages from Waterman.
A brief and targeted definition of logistics would be: logistics is ensuring the availability of the right product in the right place in the right quantity in the right condition at the right time for the right customer and at the right cost. This model is just as relevant for supply and disposal services for companies and corporate networks - supply chains - as it is, for example, in the case of local public transport, parcel delivery on a Saturday morning or issues connected to military logistics.