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  • Writer's pictureAv. Lider Tanrıkulu

Current Approaches in Logistics

Updated: Oct 14, 2023



Numerous subfields of logistics science are developing, and new study subjects are emerging, as a result of the fast expansion of the logistics industry and current economic strategies. Each of these categories strives to increase the effectiveness, responsiveness, and process quality of logistics activities. They differ in terms of business, environmental, and technology factors. Examples of these sub-fields include green logistics, reverse logistics, logistics outsourcing, air logistics, electronic supply chain management, retail logistics, and logistics villages and centers. This research aims to define terms in accordance with the new subfields indicated, as well as to describe the goals and advantages of each subfield.


In order to provide efficiency and the most profit in sustainable competition, logistics science is very important in the present economic system. The growth of logistics science has given rise to a number of new difficulties, many of which are already finding applications. These themes relate to the diversification and classification of logistics activities. Production and distribution activities are crucial for both domestic and international companies today. The idea of logistics, which is a crucial interaction between these two activities, has gained importance. In this area, nations have begun to advance, collaborate, and even engage in competition. According to Tutar et al. (2009), the logistics industry is expanding and raising its standards under this situation.

1. Outsourcing Logistics

First of all, under the influence of increasing globalization and rapid developments in technology, businesses need to have three basic features in order to survive in this intense competitive environment: speed, flexibility and cost advantage. (Taşlıyan, M. et al., 2016) In this context, businesses are in demand for outsourcing in order to reduce the negative reflections of increasing costs and operational intensities on businesses. It is called third party logistics or logistics outsourcing that a company does not perform the logistics activity it needs itself, but has a logistics company specialized in this field through a contract. (Tunç, H., Kaya, M., 2016) While performing logistics activities, businesses can expand their outsourcing areas. They can provide competitive advantage by outsourcing activities such as packaging, inventory and storage management. (Taşlıyan et al., 2016)

2. Reverse Logistics

The efficient movement of raw materials, semi-finished goods, finished goods, and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin is known as reverse logistics. This process is done with the intention of adding value or disposing of waste in a responsible manner. In this way, reverse logistics is a method that helps businesses to be more eco-friendly. Reverse logistics is now widely used by businesses all around the world as they recognize its value from an economic and environmental standpoint. (Nakiboglu, G., 2007)

3. Green Logistics

Logistics is an important cornerstone of the economy, but it has a strong negative environmental impact. Innovative ideas that reduce the negative environmental impact of logistics and at the same time enable economically necessary logistics design are essential (Jammernegg et al., 2017). Green logistics is the orientation of logistics functions towards ecological sustainability goals. Green logistics concerns not only the delivery of green products or services to customers, but also the overall logistics flow of products during the logistics activity together with reverse logistics. The task of Green Logistics is to provide the right material in the right quantity, at the right place, at the right time, in the right quality, at the right cost, with the minimum use of resources and the lowest possible emissions, taking into account ski protection and environmental friendliness. (Zhang, Lee, Chan, Choy, & Wu, 2015; Deckert, 2016)

4. Logistics Villages and Centers

As a general definition, a logistics village is a place specially established for the effective and efficient realization of all logistics-related activities. According to Europlatforms, a logistics village is the only solution that integrates rail and road with ports in an integrated manner (Euromedtransport, 2008: 12). In addition, logistics centers, which are established in a parallel definition with the logistics village, operate as a base for storage, transportation, handling and similar operations in their environment.

Today, it is possible to come across examples of logistics villages in many countries of the world. The concept of logistics village, which first emerged in the USA, has been adopted and spread in many European Union countries, especially Germany, Italy and Spain. (Baki, R., 2018)

5. Information Systems

With the developing technology, faster and more practical methods have started to be used, especially within the scope of supply chain management, saving time and cost. In particular, the use of barcoding, RFID, WLAN, robotization and automatic sorting in warehousing processes has led to the development of new systems within logistics and supply chain management. Existing studies on RFID in supply chain management focus on inventory management, logistics and transportation, assembly and manufacturing, object tracking and location, environmental sensors, etc. (Gaukler and Seifert, 2007). In an increasingly competitive environment due to globalization, supply chain performance has become one of the most important issues in many industries. Increased product availability and visibility across the entire supply chain through RFID technologies have enabled improved supply chain performance (Whitaker et al., 2007). With the help of this technology, the logistics operational processes of organizations operating in international markets are accelerated and effective inventory management is enabled. (Chow et al., 2006)

6. Public-Private Partnership

The state and the private sector cooperate from time to time within the trade chain and produce joint working models at the points of need. Within the logistics sector, we see that the state cooperates with private sector enterprises where it lacks expertise or workload.

6.1. Build-Operate-Transfer Model

Public organizations and private sector businesses collaborate in specific areas to ensure that requirements and needs are properly supplied. Public-private partnerships can take the form of outsourcing logistics services such as 3PLs and 4PLs or strategic alliances, as well as privatized models such as Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), especially in transportation infrastructure activities (Erturgut, R. 2019:246). Within these models, it is aimed that bridges, ports, stations, warehouses and other structures, which are logistics infrastructure units, are built by the private sector and operated properly.

6.2. Disaster Logistics

Especially in disaster situations, the public sector needs to ensure fast and accurate logistics planning and deliver the necessary supplies to the disaster area in a usable manner. The logistics function of disaster management is as important as the operation. Disaster logistics is a field that is constantly being studied today and new approaches are being created. Disasters should be looked at on an event basis. Because each disaster may have very different characteristics depending on the type, severity, time of occurrence, geography and sensitivity of the location. For these reasons, continuous measurement of risk and revision of disaster management plans are required by taking these criteria into consideration. Disaster management should be event-based and dynamic. (Önsüz, M. F.; Atalay, B. 2015) Although the intensive and bureaucratic structure of the state organization may create obstacles in front of the speed factor in disaster situations, it cooperates with the private sector.

7. E-Supply Chain Management

Today, consumers are at the center of marketing efforts. There are many studies proving that businesses that create more value for consumers will have more competitive advantage. However, firm success depends on providing value to consumers while at the same time providing value to the company and its shareholders. Therefore, from the design stage to after-sales services, companies strive to establish systems and organizations that create value for both consumers and company partners. E-supply systems are the value chain that emerged as a result of these efforts. (Karaca, Y., Demirtaş, M. 2010) E-supply chain management can be defined as a structure that gathers internet and supply chain management under one roof and uses various software to manage the entire supply chain and ensure data sharing. (Barutçu and Tunca, 2012:1049) With e-supply chain management, it has become easier for businesses to manage their supply chains in line with technological developments thanks to the internet infrastructure and has provided an effective data processing opportunity.

In supply chain management, customer satisfaction is essential with fast and accurate information flow. In this direction, internet-based supply chain provides benefits such as improving services, reducing costs, more efficient returns in customer relations and effective communication between businesses in the chain. (Lancioni et al, 2000:46; Gedikli, 2006:43)

7.1. Retail Logistics

In the retail sector, speed and cost advantages from today’s logistics criteria are of great importance. Retail sector enterprises make high investments in logistics activities due to the fact that they strive to achieve the optimal profit margin by getting the highest level of efficiency in a highly competitive market. In this context, the concept of retail logistics is of great importance for these businesses.

To emphasize, retailing and logistics are related to product status. They are characterized as having the right products in the right place at the right time. In fact, this description does not adequately take into account how much effort is required for a supply system and the many misapplications that supply systems can be subject to. The real management skill is to understand consumer demand and respond appropriately to its variability, while ensuring the availability of the product in demand at all times (Fernie and Sparks 2004: 3).

8. Milk Transportation Approach

Except for electronic commerce sites that sell digital products through digital channels, all digital, electronic or traditional commerce needs physical channels to deliver physical products. The transportation network manages product delivery. There are several different types of transportation networks, such as milk distribution, direct transport, specialized networks, etc. Direct transportation networks deliver products from suppliers to customers, and can be cost-effective to the extent that shipments can be handled by fully loaded vehicles. However, it is unlikely that every shipment can be made with full containers. Therefore, milk distribution and cargo consolidation practices are mandatory (Du, Wang and Lu; 2007:565). On the other hand, the increase in the volume of milk transportation, the majority of which is provided by land transportation, has environmental and economic consequences ranging from increased emissions, energy use, recycling and waste management (Erturgut, R., 2019).

9. Air Logistics

Airway transportation, which is stated as the fastest transportation model in terms of speed and distance scale among transportation models, has become a more widely used model with the diversification of vehicles and the increasing importance of the speed factor in logistics activities. In addition, unlike sea and land transportation, the fact that there are far fewer accidents and breakdowns in air transportation has added the phenomenon of trust to air transportation. The development of the global supply chain and the increase in international competition position air logistics in a special area in economic development. Because the global supply chain must be developed to increase economic efficiency, reduce inventory costs, and accelerate the flow of raw materials and commodities on a global scale. In addition, the acceleration of life increases the demand for faster trade and services. In this context, air logistics is important for the development of the modern economy with its characteristics such as fast, safe and long-distance material flow (Wang and Liu, 2014, p. 1742).

As a matter of fact, air logistics is predominantly preferred for the transportation of perishable products (e.g. pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables with short shelf life, chemicals, etc.) or products that are small in volume weight but valuable in value. In this context, air logistics has an important place in the supply chain in terms of both saving time and providing fast and safe transportation of critical and important materials in the supply chain.

Finally, developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which want to get a larger share of world trade but are geographically far away from other markets, are making direct investments in air logistics. It is expected that the level of efficiency, reliability and professionalization in the sector will increase with the investments in air logistics by these new actors, whose citizens’ travel preferences are also differentiated with increasing average income levels (Erturgut, R., 2019:258).

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