Tractor trailers and semis waiting to be taken out with a load for delivery

What Does a Logistics Company Do?

What does a logistics company do? How do logistics companies operate? Should I know what a logistics company does? Odds are, that if you are not a Supply Chain professional, this term might seem somewhat nebulous to you. Because Rowe Transfer has worked in the industry as a leading logistics broker, we feel qualified to answer your questions about how a logistics company works and what they do. The short answer to this question is that logistics companies solve some of the most challenging problems in the world to ensure that you have access to a near infinite amount of goods, from apples to zinfandel, and everything in between. For the longer answer, continue reading.

Logistics: A Lingual History

The etymology of the word logistics is an exciting and highly debated one, which will return several different results upon further investigation. Some historians describe mathematical genius and Greek philosopher Pythagoras as the first official logistician. However, the modern-day use of the word logistics derives from the French word “logistique” which derives from a military rank in the French army and “To lodge” (an army), as well as, “Marechal de logis” which refers to a group who supports a military campaign. A Swiss General Baron de Jomini used the term, and it also showed up in “The Art of War,” a book written by Baron Henri, a French general in Napoleon’s army.

When the term logistics “arrived” on American soil, it was initially used during World War II to refer to the movement of supplies in support of U.S. Soldiers. After the war, logistics was commandeered by businesses to explain the movement of products or services to a specific location at an agreed-upon time, cost, and condition.   

Modern Day Logistics

Fast forward to 2019 and logistics has become a business “buzz word” to denote getting products from point A to point B efficiently and safely. Essential aspects of logistics involve technical data, personnel, packaging and crating, distribution of orders, storage and warehousing, production planning, support equipment, technology, and customer service. In a successful logistics operation, all these elements fuse to form a supply chain that third parties use to move goods across the country via airlines, railroads, transit agencies, and carrier trucking companies. Every day, logistics companies form an unstoppable force which moves nearly 16,000 million tons of domestic freight, worth 15,000 billion dollars, every year.

What a Logistics Company Does

Now that you’re well-acquainted with what the term logistics means, let’s answer the next question of what does a logistics company actually do? A logistics company, sometimes referred to as third-party logistics companies or freight brokers, is responsible for helping shippers find carriers to haul their freight.

Your typical, full-service logistics company will broker deals with shippers, facilitate the movement of cargo, and communicate with all parties to keep them updated on where their shipments are located at any given time.

Logistics companies range in size from single individuals brokering freight loads to large companies employing analysts, purchasing managers, inventory managers, and supply-chain experts. Many logistics companies focus on a single aspect of the freight transportation supply chain, such as shipping. Others can facilitate multiple parts such as warehousing, destination handling, fulfillment, and consulting.

Why Choose a Logistics Company?

Finding a logistics company that you trust can be invaluable to companies who lack the capital to invest in trucks or warehouse personnel. The best aspect of using a logistics company is to access efficiency and control costs through economies of scale.

With the right logistics company, your entire supply chain can be optimized and streamlined to work at maximum efficiency, eliminating wasteful spending and removing overhead associated with the transportation of goods.

Additionally, working with a full-service logistics company who employs modern supply chain strategies is more efficient than a random group of businesses assembled for the same purposes.

Rowe Transfer and RTI Logistic Services

As a leader in rigging, crating, transportation, and warehousing services for over 130 years, Rowe Transfer saw the need for logistics support and added this valuable service to our client offering more than 15 years ago. Clients trust our RTI Logistic Services (RTILS) because from pickup to delivery, they deal with one point of contact. With access to all major load boards and trucking companies in the U.S., we’re able to shop around among carriers and find the best rates with the most reliable transportation companies. Learn more about RTILS by calling 865-523-0421 or request a logistic service quote online.