lo·​gis·​tics | \ lō-ˈji-stiks, lə-\

Definition of logistics

1 : the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnel
2 : the handling of the details of an operation the logistics of a political campaign

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How are logistics and logic related?

Logistics follows the same pattern of other plural nouns—such as ballistics, linguistics, statistics, or physics—that represent fields of study and take either a singular or plural verb.

Logic, used strictly in the singular, is a science that deals with the formal principles of reason. If a visitor walks in the house with wet hair, it is logical for one to assume that it is raining outside. Logistics, which involves such concerns as the delivery of personnel or supplies in an efficient manner, can often employ logic, such as by reasoning out the path least likely to interrupt the flow of a delivery:

As with many other areas of the economy, the digital revolution is having a profound effect on delivery logistics. The combination of mobile computing, analytics, and cloud services, all of which are fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing how delivery and fulfillment companies are conducting their operations.
—Andrew Meola, Business Insider, 14 Oct. 2016

Both logic and logistics ultimately derive from the Greek logos, meaning "reason." But while logic derives directly from Greek, logistics took a longer route, first passing into French as logistique, meaning "art of calculating," and then into English from there.

Examples of logistics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Giving yourself as much time as possible to sort out the logistics is really an act of kindness. Korin Miller, SELF, "6 Different End-of-Life Care Options to Know if You or a Loved One Is Sick," 18 Dec. 2018 Take, for example, Ryder, a transportation and logistics company based in Miami. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Companies who donated to Republicans made sure the tax cuts looked helpful for workers," 17 Dec. 2018 The Pentagon stressed the troops were there in support of DHS to do things like provide medical support, engineering and logistics. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "U.S. Weighs Extending Troop Deployment at Southern Border," 26 Nov. 2018 These small tweaks are part of Uber’s plan to transform from a ride-sharing service into a global logistics platform. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "How Maps Became the New Search Box," 13 June 2018 But Amazon runs on a logistics system that’s based off working people to the bare bones. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The human costs of Black Friday, explained by a former Amazon warehouse manager," 20 Nov. 2018 Last year, the county’s logistics centers added 12,000 new jobs, a steep increase from the 4,500 added the year before, with a median pay of $48,000. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Your online shopping is polluting this small town," 20 Nov. 2018 Davis will also speak with a logistics team every night for 10 minutes, which includes a doctor who will ask a series of questions evaluating her health. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How an Extreme Endurance Athlete Trains to Trek 704 Miles From Antarctica to the South Pole," 11 Oct. 2018 Read More in Logistics ShipBob’s software helps the company manage the logistics for orders that come through its clients’ websites and third-party marketplaces, including the Amazon site. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "ShipBob Raises $40 Million to Back E-Commerce Fulfillment Growth," 6 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'logistics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of logistics

circa 1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for logistics

French logistique art of calculating, logistics, from Greek logistikē art of calculating, from feminine of logistikos of calculation, from logizein to calculate, from logos reason

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Learn More about logistics

Statistics for logistics

Last Updated

29 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for logistics

The first known use of logistics was circa 1861

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More Definitions for logistics

Financial Definition of logistics

What It Is

Logistics is the integration and management of the product value chain from suppliers to the customer.  It includes all aspects of the chain of production, including design, suppliers, financing, information, energy, transportation, distribution, and sales.

How It Works

Logistics involves the integration of the production and delivery of a product or service in order to ensure efficient and effective management.  Originally, logistics was used in the military to coordinate the delivery of soldiers and weapons to the right place at the right time.  The critical nature of the place and timing in war required special integration and precision.

Logistics consists of identifying the steps in a production value chain, ensuring just in time (JIT) delivery of the inputs for an assembly process, coordinating the flow of information, and the scheduling of delivery.   As the diagram shows, logistics manages the flow from supplier to customer in order to ensure that supply and product inventory is not accumulated or wasted. An efficient production and delivery process prevents the tying up or loss of valuable capital.

While logistics is a process used by many companies (made famous by Walmart, for example), it is used increasingly as a business model by various warehouse and distribution companies (such as UPS and Fedex).

Why It Matters

Logistics manages the flow of supplies to match the needs of the producer with the schedule of sales to customers.  Logistics coordinates the flow of information, providing feedback about sales, financing when due, and the delivery of product from various suppliers.  With the increase in global sources of suppliers as well as global consumer markets, the use of logistics to coordinate production and distribution is growing in importance.

Source: Investing Answers

logistics

noun

English Language Learners Definition of logistics

: the things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people

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Comments on logistics

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