lo·​gis·​tics | \ lō-ˈji-stiks How to pronounce logistics (audio) , 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

China developed expertise in port construction and operation, container shipping and logistics, and electronic networks. Christopher R. O'dea, National Review, "How China Weaponized the Global Supply Chain," 20 June 2019 Amazon’s emergence as a logistics powerhouse is piling pressure on FedEx and United Parcel Service Inc. for cheaper and speedier deliveries, as the e-commerce leader builds its own aircraft fleet and delivery capabilities. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "FedEx decides not to renew Amazon’s U.S. air-delivery contract," 7 June 2019 The company has been talking about using drones to deliver packages since 2013, at the time, to the great amusement of logistics giant FedEx. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Amazon wants to sell “surveillance as a service”," 20 June 2019 Unfortunately, shipping and logistics companies are from time to time affected by trafficking problems. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Over $1 billion worth of cocaine seized in historic drug bust in Philadelphia," 18 June 2019 Unfortunately, shipping and logistics companies are from time to time affected by trafficking problems. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Over $1 Billion Worth of Cocaine Seized in Philadelphia — the Largest Drug Bust in City History," 18 June 2019 Bowser has opposed Trump’s efforts to take over the July 4 celebration and inject himself into the program, citing security and logistics concerns. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Trump to speak at Lincoln Memorial during Fourth of July celebration," 5 June 2019 The judge gave Winchester 48 hours to set up the monitoring device after Kim worried that the logistics of setting up the tracking system might interfere with plans to see his son Blake graduate from Lakeridge High on Tuesday night. oregonlive.com, "Judge clears way for man accused of killing cancer-stricken wife to attend son’s high school graduation in Lake Oswego," 4 June 2019 In early 2017, Hawkins found out about problems in the logistics department and reported his concerns to the VA’s inspector general. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Trump’s VA Firing Spree Falters in Court," 15 May 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

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



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

What made you want to look up logistics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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