Easier shopping is among the many things the Internet has given us. Even holidays have changed as a result. With Black Friday slowly giving way to Cyber Monday, we’re no longer limited to big box stores. I find what I want online, click a button, get a message that my purchases are on their way, and a few days later, a package shows up at my door. It seems effortless, but as someone with more than 30 years’ experience in logistics, I can tell you that it’s not.
Now more than ever, companies need to be able to fill orders and ship them out quickly. Stores also feel the need for speed when it comes to receiving their merchandise – with so many options available to consumers, not having goods in stock often means losing the sale to a competitor. Many would define logistics as the movement of goods. But this is an incomplete view of a process that most businesses, particularly the retail sector, rely on to keep their doors open, and their customers coming back.
In addition to tracking the transportation of goods on planes, trains, trucks and ships, logistics also involves the location of goods when they’re not being moved. Along with movement and warehousing, a delivery service must seamlessly handle the myriad of other details: inventory management, proper loading and unloading (a must to avoid damaging goods), customs clearing, packaging and cargo insurance.
If you think retail is the only sector that relies heavily on delivery services, guess again. Businesses often need to transport sensitive documents locally in a timely fashion, and a full-service logistics and delivery company, must be able to fill the role of courier as well. A shipment of retail merchandise can mean millions of dollars, but so can a small stack of papers. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to the importance of the product.
Even entertainment and vacations rely on logistics, whether a DreamWorks animated movie premiere or an emergency coffee run for a cruise ship about to depart, such as we had to answer recently. Can you imagine what happens when a ship full of passengers can’t get their caffeine fix? Neither could the cruise line!
Steven Seltzer is the president of Comet Delivery Services and can be reached at 305-591-2262 steven@CometDelivery.com