Supply chain logistics, basically, are part of the supply chain… a subsection of the supply chain, so to speak.

People often confuse ‘supply chain logistics’ and ‘supply chain management'. That’s easy to do because the two areas of responsibility often cross over. Here at Joloda Hydroroll, we like to lighten loads, and if that means clearing up a few questions around just what supply chain logistics is, we’re happy to do that.

Below we explore supply chain logistics in more detail, asking questions such as ‘Why is supply chain logistics so important?’ and ‘What is the difference between supply chain management and supply chain logistics?’, giving you a deeper understanding of this part of the supply chain and its significance.


understanding supply chain logistics

Consider supply chain management the strategic side of things, whereas the logistics part is all about storing goods, either in warehouses or other storage facilities, and moving them from the storage point to the customer in the most efficient, most cost-effective way possible. Think of it as getting everything in the right place at the right time, whether that’s to the warehouse, to the distributor or to the customer.


why is supply chain logistics so important?

Logistics is all about planning, carrying out and managing goods from their point of origin to their point of consumption. A well planned, well-executed logistics operation will enable you to coordinate resources and move goods smoothly, at a low cost and in a timely, efficient manner.

When organising logistics, you’ll align:

  • traffic and transportation;
  • shipping and reception;
  • importation and exportation;
  • warehousing;
  • purchasing;
  • production planning;
  • and customer service.

It’s a complex operation, but it’s a crucial one, and, ultimately, the focus is on getting the goods to the end recipient in a way that keeps the customer happy while being productive on the supplier’s side.

But logistics performs a variety of functions within the supply chain:

  • Warehouse design and management: As part of the supply chain, good warehouse design and management is essential and will include elements such as storage and the introduction of automated systems.
  • Package formation: the end-to-end control of goods, which includes packaging, tracking and accounting, all the way through to the customer or distributor.
  • Product transportation: This involves working with cargo carriers in the company’s fleet and taking care of tasks such as fuelling the vehicles and planning the routes.
  • Dealing with returned/discarded goods: This is part of a process known as ‘reverse logistics’, which establishes the rules for transporting returned/discarded goods and the ways to dispose of them. Essentially, the logistics operator is transferring the goods from the customer back to the seller or distributor.
  • Liaising with intermediaries: Working in logistics involves operating with third parties who play a role in the implementation of the supply chain. Part of the logistical process entails finding suitable third party operators who provide a good quality-to-price ratio and establishing a solid working relationship with them.
  • Working with customs: If a company wishes to distribute its products internationally, the transportation of the goods must comply with customs requirements and have all the correct documentation. This is the job of the logistics team.


what’s the difference between logistics and supply chain management?

The Difference between Logistics and Supply Chain Management...

The simple difference is that supply chain management is more comprehensive. It’s more about overseeing the whole process and covers the activities that relate to the creation of the finished goods right through to the delivery to the customer.

Supply chain management entails overseeing an almost dizzying network of sub-suppliers (such as raw materials providers), suppliers, manufacturers, logistics partners, wholesale distributors, retailers and end-users.

Additionally, it involves identifying supply chain issues and improving the process to benefit the customers and the business partners. Higher operational performance is the goal. When supply chain managers refine the process, they improve its visibility, which makes it easier for them to track everything in the process and ensure everything is going as it should be.

Logistics… that’s part of the supply chain and concerns itself with moving goods from A to B in the supply chain, and with planning this movement, so that the goods reach their final user, the customer. It’s all about coordinating equipment, people, transport and other resources to make sure everything is where it should be during the process and that, when they reach the next point in the process, there is space for the items.

Planning demand, transportation (including the management of the fleet), inventory, fulfilment of orders and handling of materials are all part of logistics.


different types of logistics management

Logistics is a very broad term and can be categorised into six different types:

  • Supply chain logistics management: This, as mentioned, is about overseeing the whole process from door to door, so to speak. That means the procurement, sourcing and distribution of goods efficiently and punctually.
  • Freight forwarding: This type of logistics management company will look for the most efficient, affordable and generally best way to transport goods. Instead of transporting these items themselves, however, they work with the companies that do, and they have expert knowledge of rates and documentation as well as solid relationships with ports.
  • Warehousing and distribution: These companies take care of the storage and distribution of goods to the necessary locations across the world, which could be by air, sea or land. The goods are likely to have tracking so that the customer and sender can follow where the items are in the process. The goods will have to be packaged and must be accompanied by the right documentation.
  • Production logistics: This area of logistics requires a great deal of coordination because the manager must bring all the different parts, supplies and stages of a product together for assembly and then distribution. Failure to coordinate everything within the same timeframe can trigger delays in the project.
  • Reverse logistics: Although relatively new in the logistics space, this type of logistical management involves companies dealing with returns from the customer to the manufacturer or supplier.


the benefits of supply chain logistics

What are Supply Chain Logistics - The Benefits

Good supply chain logistics are essential. Get your logistics right and your company can enjoy a wide range of benefits. 

Here are some of them:

  • Reduced costs and faster delivery: When a company forms partnerships with suppliers, warehouses and shipping providers, and uses automated systems to do this, they cut overheads and improve the efficiency of delivery. Other agents in the supply chain receive the goods faster so that they can perform their duties and the customer can access their order more quickly.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: The availability and use of technologies such as iPads and other mobile devices mean customers expect their orders much faster. Supply chain logistics adapts constantly to meet these demands. When supply chains lay out a blueprint for their logistics, each area of the logistics stays focused and can move more quickly, which leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
  • Focus on the supply chain: Logistics helps companies identify and understand the fundamental metrics, core process and long-term objectives of their supply chain. When they achieve this, they can get the right products to the right customer when they want them.
  • Competitive edge: Getting products to customers on time is a fundamental part of the customer experience. Providing a good customer experience can encourage repeat business and build a company’s reputation. Deliver items on time consistently and you can steal an edge on your competitors.


how has COVID-19 affected supply chain logistics?

Supply Chain Logistics - COVID-19

Clearly, COVID-19 pandemic has had an unwelcome impact on supply chain logistics. Despite the need for consumers to bear with companies, logistics operators have still come under pressure to meet demand and are working hard to meet it.

Some shipping companies have seen a drop in demand.  Some have rebalanced their portfolios. The more diverse companies have reallocated their resources to different sectors.

Some airlines have even adapted passenger aeroplanes, transforming them into cargo aeroplanes to help support business in their country. Professional services and consultancy company Accenture observed that there has been a 2% increase in global air cargo capacity, as a result of both belly (the practice of transporting air freight on passenger planes) and cargo increases. It has been warned, however, that the Omicron variant could cause the belly cargo capacity to fall as countries tighten up the rules on travel.


challenges of supply chain logistics

The Challenge of Supply Chain Logistics

The truth is the supply chain logistics industry is operating in turbulent times. Brexit… COVID-19… climate change… the fuel crisis… the list of challenges the industry faces is long and, frankly, scary. Here are some of the main challenges with which companies in logistics have to contend:

  • Labour shortages: Brexit has created a lot of uncertainty and the UK is experiencing a shortage of drivers, as Brexit begins to discourage drivers from the EU. It’s an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to work in logistics, whether you’re wishing to be a warehousing operative or HGV driver. Ecommerce has created massive opportunities and lots of roles in the field of logistics. The question is, how do we fill them?
  • Tech: The world of tech is moving so fast, placing the logistics world under pressure to keep up with the demands of consumers for faster delivery. Tech allows the industry to project more accurately, increase efficiency and provide real-time updates across the supply chain.
  • Productivity: The pressures on logistics workers may be taking their toll on them. Transport workers are prone to taking days off, presenting managers with a challenge. One solution could be to implement software tracking absences, and also to monitor workers’ fitness and address any (potential) issues so that they can look out for their workers’ health and for the business itself.
  • Sustainability: Consumers are demanding greener products and more sustainable practices to reduce the environmental and social factors that impact supply chain activities such as sourcing goods and services. Companies have to find ways to cut down on waste, ramp up recycling and enable customers to return or repair damaged products.
  • Governance: Following on from the concept of sustainability is the issue of governance and the regulations with which supply chain logistics companies have to contend. Low emissions zones (LEZ) and clean air zones can cause issues with routes, by preventing certain types of vehicles from entering them, or with costs, by invoking charges.
  • Fuel costs: Of course, one of the challenges of logistics is to keep costs as low as possible. Rising fuel costs throw a major spanner into these works and increase the cost of freight.


The impact of supply chain logistics on industry

Supply chain logistics plays an important role in the world of industry.


Sourcing, also known as ‘procurement’, is the process of purchasing goods and/or services. That includes negotiating the prices, ensuring there’s enough inventory, developing quality standards and financing. Logistics is important for making sure the goods reach the intended recipient. It’s about the planning, implementing and controlling the flow and storage of goods. Logistics connects the suppliers and the recipients.


Logistics and manufacturing go together. To produce goods and get them out to customers, manufacturers must receive the raw materials first. Supply chain logistics links the two. A good logistics process can help the manufacturer cut costs and make up for inefficiencies in the manufacturing process itself.


Logistics is important for customer satisfaction. Logistics focuses not just on getting products to consumers, but also on cost-effective delivery to customers. It’s about meeting their needs and expectations. Logistics can build a company’s reputation if the logistics are sound but break it if they’re not.


improving your logistics with our loading solutions

We offer a variety of solutions to assist you in your logistics and lighten your loads.

manual loading solutions

What Are Supply Chain Logistics - Manual Loading Solutions

Our manual loading solutions make life so much easier when it comes to loading and unloading goods. Here’s a selection of them:

  • Skate and track: This efficient system that uses roller skates in a sunken track doesn’t require the use of forklift trucks and can lift up to 3.5 tonnes. The system is fail-safe and has front and rear safety brakes. The self-cleaning system minimises the maintenance requirements, and, best of all, this product reduces your carbon footprint.

Learn more about our Skate and Track Loading Systems...

  • Built-in Rollerbed Systems: This integrated system enables you to load and unload large, heavy loads more quickly. It’s safe, easy to maintain and doesn’t require more than two people to operate. Nor do you need a forklift to operate it.

Find out more about our Built-in Rollerbed Systems...

  • Modular rollerbed system: The modular roller system is a simple, cost-effective system that you can install on top of the vehicle floor. It offers the same benefits as the built-in roller bed and is 100% safe during loading and while the cargo is in transit. Our specially adapted version for warehouses can transform your warehouse, is 100% safe for loading and movement around the warehouse, and reduces maintenance and increases airbag life.

Learn more about our Modular Rollerbed Systems...


automated loading solutions

What Are Supply Chain Logistics - Automated Loading Solutions

Loading doesn’t have to be manual, however. You can lighten your load by using our automated loading solutions. Here are a few examples of them:

  • Moving floor system: The moving floor system is good for lifting pallets of any size and reduces the operating costs of loading and unloading, processes themselves which are 100% safe during the operation.

Learn more about our Moving Floor Conveyor Systems...

  • Slipchain : The slipchain system offers the same benefits as the moving floor system and can be integrated into any trailer or building. If your business has a high volume logistics shuttle case and a small fleet of dedicated trailers, this system is ideal.

Find out more about our Slipchain Pallet Loading System...

  • Trailerskate: This system works well for FMCG businesses and is ideal for businesses that have a high volume logistics shuttle case and a larger fleet of trailers. The system provides you with the same benefits as the moving floor and slipchain systems.

Learn more about our Trailerskate loading system...

Making the most of our systems can help you streamline your operations and cut your costs.