Logistics and e-commerce: what you need to know

Logistics is the manner in which goods and resources are obtained, shipped or stored so they reach their end customer destinations safely. Most businesses will operate their own logistics systems that are specifically designed to meet their requirements. Logistics and the management of the back-end of your supply chain are critical aspects of any e-commerce business. The lack of bricks and mortar retail outlets and warehousing means most e-commerce business owners have to rely on third-party storage and shipping in order to fulfil orders.

What does logistics management entail?

Some of the most critical logistical aspects of any business include:

  • The identification of possible suppliers and distributors
  • Working out their effectiveness and accessibility with regards to typical business operations
  • Sourcing the most cost-effective business solutions for your e-commerce site and forming business relationships

It's standard practice for larger business operations to work alongside a range of different business partners to meet constant demand constraints; however, e-commerce sites can generally manage and maintain their own logistical requirements without needing to outsource.

Logistics for e-commerce sites

There's no need to make logistics overly complex when you operate an e-commerce site. Basically, when customers order products any inventory software you run should be triggered. Most of the major e-commerce platforms offer inventory control software in their packages, so, once an order is placed and paid for, your inventory records will adjust automatically.

When you receive notification of a confirmed order you will need to arrange shipping; this could be from your own home/business premises, any retail outlet you run, or from an outsourced logistics provider. Using outsourced logistics is generally only applicable to larger e-commerce sites.

Your logistics system should also have the capability of tracking inventory and discovering where it is in the supply chain. Your inventory management software should enable you to track goods up to the time they are shipped, and many of the shipping companies, like FedEx and UPS, provide parcel tracking services.

ParcelBroker is an internet-based parcel consolidator and provides shipping solutions to e-commerce sites. We can arrange shipment of your goods anywhere in the world, at rates you won't be able to achieve yourself. Contact us for more information.