Skip links

Types of Logistics

Logistics is often lumped together with various supply chain-related terms like distribution, operations, and more, but as we’ve clarified in a previous blog, logistics is its own realm. Today, we will dive into the three types of logistics previously mentioned to understand better what logistics firms encompass.


Inbound logistics refers to the complex movement, storage, and transportation of resources needed to form products. This category often deals with suppliers, costs, inventory, and inbound transportation of resources. Any process that involves procuring materials until the finished product is in a warehouse waiting to be shipped comprises inbound logistics. Major pain points identified in this stage include evaluating efficiency, tracking inbound transit, and managing order fulfillment. 

You can increase the value of your inbound logistics by minimizing costs and lead times through researching better suppliers, consolidating order shipments, evaluating construction processes, and making your supply chain flow more visible to identify areas of improvement.


After warehousing, outbound logistics commences when there is a transfer of goods and information after the final product is complete and when finished goods arrive to end-users. Whether you’re distributing goods via wholesale, retail, or distribution centers, it’s all about getting orders into the hands of the customers. Outbound logistics is crucial because it can play into marketing when done correctly. On-time, safe deliveries can only increase the value of your brand!

Much like inbound, outbound logistics can be improved by mapping out processes and pointing out pain points. Every part of outbound logistics, from scheduling distribution warehouse space to front door delivery, should be about making the customer happy.


As the name suggests, reverse logistics is the backward flow of logistics from end users to inbound stages, often initiated by returns, item servicing, refurbishing, or disposal. The final product must travel back through each step, first starting with outbound logistics. The automotive industry is a great example: recalls, add-ons, and trade-ins always happen.

Working with a 3PL, distribution, or logistics firm can help identify the stages of logistics flow that can be better. Call ABCO Logistics for consulting and hands-on services to make your business run smoother.