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Logisticsis the management of the flow of goods, information and other resources, includingenergy and people, between the

point of origin and the point of consumption inorder to meet the requirements of consumers (frequently, and originally, militaryorganizations). Logistics involve the integration of information, transportation,inventory, warehousing, material-handling, and packaging. Logistics is a channelof the supply chain which adds the value of time and place utility.Origins and definitionT h e t e r m " l o g i s t i c s " o r i g i n a t e s f r o m t h e ancient Greek "" ("logos""ratio, word, calculation, reason, speech, oration").Logistics is considered to have originated in the military's need to supplythemselves with arms, ammunition and rations as they moved from their base to aforward position. In ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine empires, there weremilitary officers with the title Logistikas who were responsible for financialand supply distribution matters.The Oxford English dictionary defines logistics as: The branch of militaryscience having to do with procuring, maintaining and transporting material,personnel and facilities.Another dictionary definition is: "The time relatedpositioning of resources." As such, logistics is commonly seen as a branch ofengineering which creates "people systems" rather than "machine systems"....Military logisticsIn military logistics, logistics officers manage how and when to move resources tothe places they are needed. In military science, maintaining one's supply lineswhile disrupting those of the enemy is a crucialsome would say the most crucialelement of military strategy, since an armed force without resources andtransportation is defenseless.The defeat of the British in the American War of Independence, and the defeat ofErwin Rommel in World War II, have been largely attributed to logistical failure.The historical leaders Hannibal Barca Alexander the Great and the Duke ofWellington are considered to have been logistical geniuses.Another field within logistics is called Medical logistics.Logistics managementMain article: Logistics ManagementLogistics management is that part of the supply chain which plans, implements andcontrols the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods,services and related information between the point of origin and the point ofconsumption in order to meet customers' requirements. A professional working inthe field of logistics management is called a logistician.The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) was established in theUnited Kingdom in 1919 and was granted the Royal Charter in 1926. The CharteredInstitute is one of professional bodies or institutions for the logistics &transport sectors, that offers such professional qualification or degree inlogistics management.Definitions of logistics outsourcing (3PL)Logistics outsourcing, or third-party logistics (3PL), involves the utilization ofexternal organizations to execute logistics activities that have traditionallybeen performed within an organization itself. According to this definition, thirdparty logistics includes any form of outsourcing of logistics activitiespreviously performed in-house. If, for example, a company with its own transportfacilities decides to employ external warehouse specialist, this would be anexample of third party logistics.Another definition has it as long and short-term contracts of alliances betweenmanufacturing and service firms and third-party logistics providers. Thisdefinition has been largely used on the needs that firm characteristics influencethe decision to contract multiple third-party logistics services, and therefore,firms have to obtain cost savings and to concentrate on their core competencies. The agreement also becomes more formalized with mutual commitments from bothparties. In such partnerships the partners attempt to keep their autonomy, whileat the same time collaboration is vital to develop more efficient results.Sometimes, the agreement specifies that the external service provider fully orpartly takes responsibility over personnel, equipment and plant of the clientfirmhSimilar to the above definition, Hertz and Alfredsson simply stated that logisticsoutsourcing involves an external provider who manages, controls, and deliverslogistics activities on behalf of a shipper. The purpose is that both partiesdevelop a mutually beneficial and continuous strategic relationship and all or apart of the logistics activities are performed in a satisfactory way for thepartners, with the guarantee of the quality of performance and benefits involved.Nevertheless, to understand the concept of logistics outsourcing, there are fivelevels of logistics outsourcing, as follows: 1) In-house logistics or in sourcinglogistics, or reverse outsourcing: means that the firm operates its logisticsactivities in-house. 2) Logistics service provider (LSP), or asset-based logistics(2PL): means the management of traditional logistics functions, such as transportand warehouse. 3) Third-party logistics (3PL/TPL), or forwarding logistics, orcontract logistics: This can be also a close relationship between a firm and alogistics provider not only to operate the logistics tasks but also the sharing ofinformation, risks and benefits under long-term contract. 4) Fourth-partylogistics (4PL/FPL), or supply chain logistics, or lead logistics provider (LLP):4PL has been viewed as a single contact that manages and integrates all kinds ofresources and directs 3PL function along the supply chain with the sense ofstrategic advantages, and long-term relationship. 5) Fifthparty logistics (5PL):means serving the electronic business (e-business) market. Those 3PL and 4PLproviders manage all the parties in the supply chain on electronic commerce (e-commerce). They key to success in this area is the information technology andinformation systems.Clarification of definitions of third-party logisticsIn addition to the definitions of logistics outsourcing as given above, the termthird party, as well as that of fourth party, can be quite confusing, thusLynch[5] (2000), refers to the outsourcing of logistics activities to firms thatare capable of providing the services, rather than to third-party or fourth-partylogistics providers (3PLs and 4PLs respectively).Nevertheless, the use of the term third-party logistics (3PL) is risingconsiderably and therefore further discussion is needed. However third-partylogistics are better defined and exemplified as follows: A 3PL is a relationshipbetween a shipper and third party which, compared with basic services, has morecustomised offerings, encompasses a broader number of service functions and ischaracterised by a longer-term, more mutually beneficial relationship (Murphy andA 3PL is a logistics service provider,Poist, 2000, pg. 122). usually asset-based, which focuses on specific

elements of the supply chain in order to optimisethe physical movement of goods from the point-of-origin to the end-user (Stockand Lambert, 2001, pg. 5).According to the definitions above, the 3PL provider specialises in a range oflogistics services with the purpose to sell or perform these services to firmsthat are involved in manufacturing and distribution activities (Baziotopoulos,2008). For example, small trucking companies are not 3PLs; however, some 3PLs owntransportation and other assets to perform logistics needs while others do not.While many definitions suggest that 3PL involves the provision of multipledistribution activities, they often do not include the concept of longer term,mutually beneficial relationships between the parties. Therefore, while logisticsactivities, in particular, transportation and warehousing, have been outsourced tothird parties, generally on a transaction-by-transaction basis, the characteristicof the 3PL is that it, by contrast, is focused on a formal, contractual, long-term relationship between the provider and the user (Murphy and Poist, 2000, pg.122). Logistics Management SoftwareSoftware is used for logistics automation which helps the supply chain industry inautomating the work flow as well as management of the system. There are very fewgeneralized software available in the new market in the said topology. This isbecause there is no rule to generalize the system as well as work flow even thoughthe practice is more or less the same. Most of the commercial companies do use oneor the other of the custom solutions.But there are various software solutions that are being used within thedepartments of logistics. There are a few departments in Logistics, namely:Conventional Department, Container Department, Warehouse, Marine Engineering,Heavy Haulage, etc.The software used in these departments are,Conventional department : CVT software / CTMS software /Container Trucking: CTMS software /Warehouse : WMS /Business logisticsLogistics as a business concept evolved only in the 1950s. This was mainly due tothe increasing complexity of supplying one's business with materials and shippingout products in an increasingly globalized supply chain, calling for experts inthe field who are called Supply Chain Logisticians. This can be defined as havingthe right item in the right quantity at the right time at the right place for theright price and is the science of process and incorporates all industry sectors.The goal of logistics work is to manage the fruition of project life cycles,supply chains and resultant efficiencies.In business, logistics may have either internal focus (inbound logistics), orexternal focus (outbound logistics) covering the flow and storage of materialsfrom point of origin to point of consumption (see supply chain management). Themain functions of a qualified logistician include inventory management,purchasing, transportation, warehousing, consultation and the organizing andplanning of these activities. Logisticians combine a professional knowledge ofeach of these functions so that there is a coordination of resources in anorganization. There are two fundamentally different forms of logistics. Oneoptimizes a steady flow of material through a network of transport links andstorage nodes. The other coordinates a sequence of resources to carry out someproject.Production logisticsThe term is used for describing logistic processes within an industry. The purposeof production logistics is to ensure that each machine and workstation is beingfed with the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right point intime.The issue is not the transportation itself, but to streamline and control the flowthrough the value adding processes and eliminate non-value adding ones. Productionlogistics can be applied in existing as well as new plants. Manufacturing in anexisting plant is a constantly changing process. Machines are exchanged and newones added, which gives the opportunity to improve the production logistics systemaccordingly. Production logistics provides the means to achieve customer responseand capital efficiency.Production logistics is getting more and more important with the decreasing batchsizes. In many industries (e.g. mobile phone) batch size one is the short termaim. This way even a single customer demand can be fulfilled in an efficient way.Track and tracing, which is an essential part of production logistics - due toproduct safety and product reliability issues - is also gaining importanceespecially in the automotive and the medical industry.