A brief history of logistics
You’re probably aware that, in the simplest terms, logistics refers to the organised management of goods being transported from one place to another.
But do you know where logistics comes from? How about who’s considered the greatest logistics genius of all time? And then, of course, there’s the matter of where logistics is headed now and into the future.
So where does the word ‘logistics’ come from? Well, it all began in Greece with the word “logos”. “Logos” basically meant reason/ratio. From there, the Greeks evolved the word into “logistiki”, which essentially translated to financial organisation.
As Western language emerged and early French took hold, the common means of words being adapted and revised occurred. Effectively, ‘logistiki’ became ‘loger’; which essentially meant ‘lodge’. As our language further evolved and took shape, it arrived at “logistics”, describing the management of the flow of goods and resources from an organisation.
It’s believed that logistics essentially became what is primarily thanks to ancient militaristic operations. Military logistics focused on the process of managing the transport of ammunition/weaponry and provisions to troops.
It was the military logistics of Alexander the Great that earned him the title of quite possibly being the greatest logistics genius of all time. This was due to the way in which he utilised his knowledge of the terrain, location of enemies, and the approach he took in regards to moving provisions.
It would be his near-flawless logistical planning that ultimately attributed to his empire’s successful expansion to the lands of Eastern Asia.
Logistics, as we know it now, falls much more in line with the commercial side of transporting goods. Whether it’s across countries, states or suburbs, logistics exists in some form for almost any conceivable distance. Even when you think of space exploration, the fact that tools and equipment need to be transported as part of such endeavours, logistics has ultimately moved outside our own atmosphere.
With new technologies, logistics continues to be improved upon. Companies such as Amazon in the US are considering investing in drones to deliver goods to customers, and Domino’s even did this as part of a marketing stunt for its brand.
Military logistics continues to this day as well, only technology has made the process far quicker and effective. But there is no doubt that much of what Alexander the Great employed has been adapted and refined to this day.
As the future of logistics is ahead of us, it could involve drones, blimps, cleaner energy or even a possible reduction in the need to move items from point A to point B. The latter being due to the ever-increasing popularity of viewing media online – so things such as physical DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs and video games could reduce substantially provided Australia’s internet infrastructure improves substantially over the coming decades. On the flipside, however, our increased reliance and use of online services could, in turn, increase the demand for foods and beverages to be home delivered, thus opening up newer logistics market there.
Regardless of what the future holds, logistics will continue to play a significant role in the lives of many.
* Image source: khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net