logistics

noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction lo·gis·tics \ lō-ˈji-stiks , lə- \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

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

Recent Examples of logistics from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Other Military Terms


Financial Definition of LOGISTICS

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.


LOGISTICS Defined for English Language Learners

logistics

noun

Definition of logistics for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!