The term logistics (stock management) covers all intermediate steps of the manufacturing. It covers all activities for the physical space and time bypass of goods and persons, including their regrouping.

Logistics is defined more concretely than integrated planning, organization, controlling, completion and control of the entire material and goods river beginning with the associated information flows, with the supplier, by (own) the operational creation of value stages (e.g. production and/or distribution stages), up to the distribution of the products with the customer, including the refuse disposal and the recycling.

A possible definition of the term logistics is those the application of six RThe correct quantity of the correct goods at the right time in the correct quality to the correct costs of the correct place. Frequently also still another seventh R is taken up to this enumerating with: with the correct information for all involved ones. In particular in the need-oriented (“just in time”) manufacturing, how it is usual today, the treatment of information plays a large role.

Term origin

There are different term origins for the word logistics. From the Greek antique, one different word is attributed to logistics. “Lego” translated with think. “Logizmati” meant superior, count or consider. “Logos” is the noun for understanding, reason or Rechnung.In of the Roman antique ones the civil servant for financial and food goods administration as “logistika” was designated. In the Middle Ages, however, the same term stood for baroque France for the practical Rechenkunst.I’m stood the term “longer” for lives, login and/or accommodates. To the German-speaking countries, the term logistics was only introduced into late 1960 it years rule-fairly.

Today the term “Supply chain” is often used.


The Byzantine emperors Leontos VI (886 – 911 n. Chr.) wrote ca.900 n. Chr. first, today admitted definition (military) of logistics in the context of its work “summary argument of the war art”, which admits under the designation of the “Leonini military institutes” became.

In detail it writes about: “Thing of logistics is it to pay the army to arm and arrange appropriately, it with cannons and munition to equip, in time and sufficiently for its needs to provide and each act of the campaign accordingly to prepare, i.e. space and time to compute, the area regarding the army movements as well as the opponent strength to estimate correct and in accordance with these functions the movement and distribution of the own armed forces regulate and arrange, with a word to dispose. “

From French military affairs (1638) the title “major is well-known the logic”.

Henri Jormini (1779-1869) described the accommodation of making and the organizational supply in its work “outline of the war art” logistics as form. 1862 were translated the paper into the English language.

Logistics already played with the American liberty war a role. Both at the navy and at the army one understood by it navigates and supplies the fleet and/or troop. The USA has started from that 2. World war the term transferred to the army and the Air Force. In addition, mathematical methods were used for planning and optimization (see operation Research).

In the ’70s primarily optimizations of strongly defined functions were made. Automate-flow of material-technical solutions developed like Hochregallager. Die 80’s were coined/shaped from the optimization of a function-spreading operational sequence. Logistics avencierte to a cross-section function within the enterprises (similar to the personal or financing). In the 90’s whole process and creation of value, chains were developed and optimized. It found both a functional (order-oriented) and an enterprise-spreading integration. Since the turn of the century, the focus lies on the structure and the optimization of global networks, for the worldwide integration of the creation of value chains.

Originally as the main function of stock management understood, logistics becomes today v. A. as driver-oriented operational cross-section function over the ranges procurement, operational achievement production (production ith w. S.) and paragraph seen.

If one regarded in former times logistics particularly as rationalization instrument and service function for cost-minimizing, then one recognized logistics in the Zeitverlauf increasingly as competition instrument and organization function for maximization of profit.


One horizontal often subdivided logistics in the closer sense into the four phase-specific subsystems:

  1. Procurement logistics (of the supplier in the entrance camp)
  2. Production logistics (material & goods economy, administration of semi-manufactures in partially also manufacturing economy)
  3. Distribution logistics (paragraph logistics) (from the selling camp to the customer)
  4. Disposal logistics (written undertaking logistics) (canceling of wastes, empties, recycling in addition, returns)
  5. Metalogistik the subrange of the logistics, which with the optimization of co-operation and/or co-operation of the enterprises argues and crucial decision making aids compiled.

In the context of distribution logistics also of marketing logistics, one speaks. Personnel logistics is, however, the task of the core of the personnel department (personnel operational planning).

By modern conceptions such as Efficient Consumer Response (ECR), Supply chain management (SCM), Category management (cm) and technologies as for example electronics DATA interCHANGE (EDI) can be arranged more efficient logistics. Examples are JIT supply and Kanban.

According to the kind of activity also between storage logistics (stock control), packing logistics and transportation logistics one differentiates. Frequently also the term Intralogistik emerges in this connection, which summarizes i.d.R. the complete logistic procedures at a location spreading and depending upon enterprise a combination of production logistics, storage logistics and packing logistics represents.


In the origins logistics covers the classical TUL processes transport, envelope, storage.

One of the most important tasks of logistics is transport. Logistics is responsible for transport from the manufacturer to the enterprise, in-plant transport, as well as the transport to the customer. It depends strongly thereby on developed and efficient traffic infrastructure.

Further functional areas are:

  • Goods examination and handling
  • Storage and commissioning
  • Packing
  • Controlling and planning of the
  • Co-ordination of process execution

Special tasks of logistics are e.g. the safety device of the goods during the storage and during transport, this not only at valuable goods such as money transportation but also completely particularly with the danger property.

The goals of logistics are the contribution of high-quality achievement, quality and a reduction of costs. Here conflicting aims develop. For example a high stock will decrease the shortfall costs as well as will increase the stock availability, however thereby stock program costs rise. The logistics cost calculation serves here as an instrument for optimum determination.


The portion of the logistics of the total costs is not insignificant. Most costs are taken here by transport and camp. Logistics costs are however industry dependent. High logistics costs are for example in the consumer goods industry. Likewise, the logistics costs depend on the economical degree of development. Thus the portion of the logistics costs of the gross domestic product amounts to e.g. with developing countries 20% (industrialized countries less than 5%). Frequently it is missing during the arrangement of logistics still at the arrangement of incentives (personnel management).

Logistic chain

The logistic channel (the way from the manufacturer to the final customer) is interconnected by interfaces, the borders to represent and the logistic river obstruct. The goal of the logistic chain is it to transform these interfaces into seams in which they are constantly co-ordinated and process cycles are system-spreading steered. Between logistic interfaces first to third order is differentiated (department of, resembles the same enterprise, enterprise-spreading).

The logistic chain brings the among other things following advantages:

  • Duplicating logistic activities is avoided by summarizing the main case chains.
  • Transportation units are co-ordinated, whereby the envelope and packing expenditure is decreased.
  • Logistic river orientation is carried out.

See also

  • Glossary of logistics
  • Business process management
  • Supply chain management
  • Stock management
  • Operation Research
  • Information logistics
  • Traffic
  • Traffic sciences
  • Goods traffic
  • Logistikcontrolling
  • Security in logistics


  • Bratke, Markus: Training comment logistics right, Duisburg: WiKu publishing house 2006 ISBN 3-86553-139-3
  • Klaus, Peter and Krieger, Winfried: Gabler encyclopedia logistics, 3. Aufl., Wiesbaden: Gabler, 2004.
  • Domschke, Wolfgang, Logistik (in three volumes), 4. Edition, R. Oldenbourg
  • Honouring man, Harald: Logistics, 4. Edition, Kiehl publishing house; ISBN 3470475946
  • , Christof trained: Logistics, 3. Edition, publishing house Franz Vahlen: Munich 2004 ISBN 3800624540
  • Arnold, D., Isermann, H., Kuhn, A., temple Meier, H.: Manual logistics, 2. Aufl., Springer: Heidelberg 2002.
  • Klaus, P./Krieger, W. (Hrsg.) (2000): Gabler encyclopedia logistics/management of logistic networks and rivers, 2. Aufl., Wiesbaden
  • Eversheim, W./Luczak, H. (2002) (Hrsg.): Industrielle logistics, 7. Aufl., Aachen
  • , G. trained (2001): Material and logistics management, 2. Aufl., Munich/Vienna ISBN 3-486-2548-8
  • , C trained. (2005): Logistics/ways to the optimization of the Supply chain, 4. Aufl., Munich
  • Wannenwetsch, H. (2004): Integrated stock management and logistics/procurement, logistics, stock management and production, 2. Aufl., Berlin et al.
  • Hessenberger, M./Krcal, K: Innovative logistics /Versorgungsstrategien, Standortkonzepte, Steuerungselemente, Wiesbaden: Gabler, 1997, ISBN: 3-409-18958-0
  • Arnold, Furmans: Flow of material in logistics systems. 4. Aufl. Springer 2005
  • Ingrid Logistics guidance conception – the subject, tasks and instruments of the logistics management and – controllings. 2. Edition, Munich: Vahlen, 2005 – interpret logistics as a specific beginning for the guidance of creation of value systems.
  • Hans Christian Pfohl: Logistics systems – economical bases. 7. Edition, Berlin et al.: Springer, 2004 – standard text book; interpret logistics as function teachings which the spatial and temporal goods transformation to the article has.
  • Rolf G. Poluha:

Application of the SCOR model for the analysis of the Supply chain. Lohmar and Cologne 2005, ISBN 3899364104

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