Whether you are in the manufacturing business or retail business, shipping and handling will be a huge part of your overall operation in this technological world where more people shop online for what they need. Because the shipping aspect of businesses has grown, many businesses have turned to logistics companies to help them get these processes accomplished. If you are in a situation now where you know you are going to need third-party logistics, you probably have one big question: what's the difference between inbound and outbound logistics? Here are a few things you should know about a few of the differences between the two.
Inbound logistics focuses on incoming goods.
If you are a business owner who has a lot of inventory coming into your business on a regular basis, you may be more interested in learning about inbound logistics. This area of logistics focuses mainly on streamlining the process of transporting goods to your business as they are needed. A lot of retailers have a third-party inbound logistics provider who stores excess inventory off-site and ships it to the store as the items are needed. The advantage of an inbound logistics provider is that you will not have to keep as much at your place of business to still have direct access and control over the merchandise or goods.
Outbound logistics focuses on outgoing shipments.
If you have a large online business and do a lot of shipping to end customers, you will better benefit from outbound logistics services. These companies pretty much focus on the inventory or goods that are leaving a business in outgoing shipments. Some of the logistics companies provide off-site storage in multiple locations so when a customer orders an item from you, that item can be distributed from the warehouse that is nearest to them.
Outbound and inbound logistics combine in supply chain management.
In some cases, businesses can utilize the services of both inbound and outbound logistics service providers. When the two services are combined into one, it is known as supply chain management. A good example of supply chain management in action would be a service that handles shipping and distribution to customers as well as transporting supplies to a physical store location. For a lot of businesses, supply chain management works out well because they do not have the space for warehousing or do not have enough staff in-store to handle shipping.