Is Logistics Easy? ( Explained With Examples)

Logistics is simple but not easy. It is simply because your everyday job involved moving a product from point A to point B. The process and the concept are simple.

Logistics is not easy because there are so many small things that could happen during the transition that can ruin the shipment.

What is the main goal of logistics?

The utmost goal of logistics is transporting a product safely, on time to final destination use a best economic way.

Besides this main goal, there are other goals that a good logistics should reach:

1, Operation efficiency

2, Best optimized route for trucks

3, Best optimized usage of vehicles and drivers

4, Lower operation cost

5, Lower inventory cost

The advantages that good logistics brought

1, Improved customer satisfaction

When you have a good logistics system back your business, you will have a very high customer satisfaction rate. When you give customers a date, you can hit the date. For example that a customer ordered a product on your website. you give this customer an ETA date on a certain date and the package arrived at the customer’s fort proch exactly on that date. This customer will become your loyal customer because of your punctuality.

2, Cut cost

When you have a quality logistics system, you will have less return shipping because of wrong size, wrong color, or wrong products shipped to customers.

A fine logistics system is also an economic shipping system

3, Inventory accuracy

A superior logistics system means each shipment is accurate and correct. You shipped the item exactly what the customer ordered. this, in turn, helps keep your inventory precise

4, Operation efficiency

Fewer mistakes in logistics mean more efficiency in operation.

Is logistics a stressful job?

Yes, it is sometimes. The logistics job is time-sensitive. Either you ship the product by the ocean, by air, or by road. there is a time frame to handle it. Most Air shipment’s cut-off is 3 pm. You need to get all documents ready, labels and trucks ready, and deliver cargo to the airport before 3 pm, otherwise you will miss the flight. You have to catch another flight.

Work after hours

Logisticians do work after hours. Cargoes may deliver on Saturday or Sunday. if you are a logistics coordinator, you have to monitor the cargo until it is delivered to the final destination.

You are on call after hours. If you have cargo that will deliver at 7 pm, you do need to check with the driver at 7 pm to make sure the cargo has been delivered.

Think thoroughly

Many small things need to consider when transporting cargo, especially the cargo is out of gauge, overweight, oversize, etc. One of your small negligence might delay the shipment and cost the company money to fix it.

For example, you move an oversize cargo from Los Angeles to Texas. you have to pay attention to both states’ laws. You may not need an escort in Los Angeles, but you need it in Texas. if you do not research and think thoroughly, your cargo will be stopped in Texas and you probably need to pay fines.

Experience is important

Hands-on experience is a plus as a professional logistician. You only learn it by doing it.

It does not matter how many times you read the SOP ( standard operation procedure), you read the PowerPoint, if you have never handled a shipment, you still do not know the logistics. The best learning experience is handling a shipment from beginning to end and learning from your mistakes.

You will make tons of mistakes on your first shipment, then fewer mistakes on your second and third shipments. You will handle hundreds and thousands of shipments during your career in logistics. The more you do it, the better you are in this field.

Early career postion

I have been working in the logistics field for many years. I believe an early career is better in the front line as a logistics coordinator. You will gain hands-on experience in logistics. There is not an operating model to fit any shipments. You have to learn it by doing it. Working at the frontline, expose yourself to mistakes. The mistakes you made help you grow in the long run.

Middle career position

Once you build some experience in logistics. I would suggest getting on a project in your middle career path.

A project is a complicated logistics job. To get the project done, you probably encounter all 4 modes of logistics: ocean, air, train, and road shipment. You will build a broad knowledge of logistics.

You will learn to cooperate with customers, shippers, different personnel in different departments. To get what you want, sometimes you have to help others first. Working on a project will sharpen your teamwork skill, communication skill, persuasive skill, etc. Working on a big project is a great learning experience in your middle career.

Senior career position

When you have a good grip in everyday operation, project shipments then you are ready to move on to senior positions like supply chain manager, Director of logistics, etc.

You will think of the supply chain as a whole as a senior leader. Logistics is only part of the supply chain. You will look at the big picture more than logistics. You will look at KPI ( key performance indicator), P&L(profit and loss) of each department to find ways to improve the whole supply chain system.

How can you be successful in logistics?

To be successful in logistics, you have to equip yourself with below 6 skills.

1, Industry knowledge

You have to know your industry well. Every industry has its peak and down season. Good industry knowledge help you align your logistics with your industry need. When your industry is booming, you have more logistics capacity. when your industry is downsized, you keep fewer idle trucks around.

2, Communication skill

Communication is a vital skill for a logistician. Communicate clearly and pricely is really a puls in your logistics career

3, Market trend

You have to understand the market trend of logistics. 3years ago ship a container from china to US is probably $4000. but now the market is as hot as $8000-$10,000 per container.

The truck market is volatile. The truck price you get today will not work 5 days later in some lanes. knowing the market trend helps you to quote to your customer and control your risk to lose money.

4, Conflict management

You will have conflicts with your co-workers, truckers, customers, etc. Manage the conflict professionally and move on quickly.

5, Team work

One person can only do so many things a day. You depend on your team to back your up. The more complicated situation the more you need other people’s ideas to conquer it together.

6, Customer service centric

Logistics is probably not a fit for you if you are not a customer service-centric person. Logisticians do not sell a product, they sell service. Logisticians compete with other freight forwards in providing the best logistics services. There are so many alternatives to choose from for customers. You have to be good at customer service to be a success in logistics.