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How logistics plays an important role in retail industry

Supply Chain

Key takeaways: 

  • The collection of procedures used to transport items internally or from buyer to seller is known as logistics. Logistics managers keep an eye on and manage the process’s various intricacies.
  • All of these tasks—packaging, tracking, and accounting—enable end-to-end management of the items as they are delivered to the buyer or distributor.
  • Depending on the business’s nature and its product selection, there are different best practices for logistics, but the process is always complex.

The retail sector is dynamic and rapidly changing. The days of only making purchases in person on the high street are long gone. E-commerce has entered the modern era and will contribute enormously to the global economy. These days, it’s not enough for stores to stock their shelves with inventory; to meet customer demand, retailers must also source, locate, pack, and ship hundreds or even thousands of items daily. So, here’s a quick look at why retail and logistics management is so crucial to the retail sector and how it’s enabling innovative forms of shipment.

What is retail logistics?

Logistics management in the retail industry typically refers to transporting items from suppliers to retail outlets, distribution centers, or even customers. Due to the increasing digitization of retail, logistics is becoming a critical component of any successful enterprise’s foundation. Keeping a smooth retail supply chain requires always delivering high-quality goods on time and at a fair price.

Goods are received in a warehouse, inventoried, orders processed, and then shipped as part of the retail logistics process. Customers now anticipate both quickness and low prices when placing an order. Thus each of these steps must be optimized to suit these needs.

Role of logistics in retail management

There are several strategic roles of logistics in retail management. One of logistics’ most well-known functions is sales logistics, which facilitates the transfer of goods from manufacturer to end user. There are four other responsibilities under logistics that can be distinguished from sales logistics. Included in this category are logistics pertaining to purchasing, production, recovery, and recycling.

Many systems have been implemented to speedily transfer goods from the point of manufacture to the end user, including those for transportation/delivery, storage, packing, cargo handling, distribution processing, and information processing.

Read more: How supply chain helps in FMCG industry

Importance of logistics in the retail industry

  • Supply chain management

An analogous word that broadens the scope to incorporate supplementary, laterally-applied business methods that reduce waste, speed up product turnover, and boost profitability. Although not the same thing, supply chain management in the retail industry and the basic tenets of business logistics typically go hand in hand.

  • Material sourcing

Supply chain management begins with the acquisition and distribution of raw materials or smaller, individual components that will ultimately be constructed into a finished product, setting off product flows in the remainder of the business’s logistics cycle.

  • Transportation

Logistics planning, execution, and management, including incoming and outbound transport, shipping mode selection, transit time, and coordination with third-party logistics providers.

  • Product delivery

In today’s competitive industry, customers increasingly expect faster turnaround times. Distribution networks and the timely and secure conveyance of commodities to satisfy customer demand rely heavily on logistics.

  • Inventory management

Controlling the flow of commodities and items physically stored in various warehouses on a daily basis. In order to accomplish executive-level inventory operations, such as order fulfillment, material handling, and demand forecasting, inventory managers use inventory management systems and order processing software.

  • Cost reduction

Excellent logistics will establish trustworthy methods that boost the quality of service provided to customers. Having good ties with suppliers can help expedite deliveries and cut expenses.

The role of logistics in the supply chain 

  1. When it comes to the safekeeping of goods of all kinds, the importance of logistics in the retail industry cannot be overstated. A logistics firm that moves and stores raw materials or completed items must have sufficient storage facilities for both.
  2. The logistics firm’s other job is to ensure the right items are picked up and sent to the right places. The need for more than one terminal to pick up and drop off passengers is possible.
  3. Correctly handling goods transit is where a logistics business’s competence shines. A company’s bottom line can benefit from a more thorough analysis of the least expensive modes of transport for each product category.

Read more: Supply chain management in e-commerce

Time to make a career in logistics and supply chain management

As the need for supply chain management services continues to grow, the demand for Logistics Managers is expected to rise. Each year, there are more and more additions to the number of businesses that manufacture things. So, the demand for Logistics Management will continue to rise. It’s a safe bet to say that this field will be in demand in the years to come.

Online Manipal

If you wish to pursue a career in logistics, then Manipal Academy of Higher Education’s (MAHE) PGCP in Logistics & Supply Chain Management is the right choice for you. You can access this professional certification course on the Online Manipal website. 


With technology’s pervasiveness and expanding supremacy, retail logistics is a competitive field full of opportunities. One must always remain one step ahead of the competition in order to survive in this fast-paced and frequently volatile industry. The only rational course of action for retail companies is to give careful thought to delivery and logistics in advance of any seismic changes in the industry. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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