What is Outbound Logistics?

Outbound Logistics is the process of moving goods from the producer or seller to the consumer and fulfilling several objectives such as packaging, shipping, distribution, and delivery of products to make the movement successful.

Outbound Logistics: Technical Definition

ClickPost defines Outbound Logistics as the process that facilitates the movement of goods towards end consumers, fulfilling consumer demand in the supply and demand spectrum. The process includes a variety of functions such as shipping, packing, and last-mile delivery of products.  

How does Outbound Logistics work?

Outbound Logistics begins as soon as the company prepares goods that can be sent to the final destination. However, the process includes the movement of goods between multiple facilities to improve accessibility. 

What are the activities of Outbound Logistics?

There are four primary activities associated with Outbound Logistics. 

1. Packing

Packing products is generally the first step of an outbound logistics operation. It involves placing products in the proper packaging materials to keep them safe during transit. Further, shipping labels are pasted on the packages used to send products to their destination.

2. Shipping

Shipping usually follows packing and begins as the shipping partner receives the products and places them onto the surface, air, or sea transport vehicles. Shipping allows companies to move products closer to their end consumer for final delivery. 

3. Picking

Upon shipping, products are sent to warehouse facilities, hubs, or distribution locations, where they are sorted and dispatched for final delivery. At this stage, last-mile delivery partners pick the products and begin the final transit towards the customer. 

4. Delivery

Delivery begins as soon as the last-mile delivery partner picks the product from the hub, warehouse, or distribution center. The partner then follows a pre-determined and optimized route to deliver the product to the end consumer most efficiently. 

Who are the key players involved in Outbound Logistics?

Outbound Logistics primarily involves three entities. 

1. Shipping Partners

Shipping partners enable companies to move their products from their production facilities or origin to a location that is closer to their customers. This allows companies to strategically aggregate products based on market demand and geographical locations. 

2. Warehousing Partners

Warehousing partners enable companies to store their products in strategic locations from where delivery partners can deliver smaller batches of items based on the product’s final destination. Warehousing partners also allow companies to manage their inventory and distribute products to smaller facilities.  

3. Last-Mile Delivery Partners

Last-mile delivery partners enable companies to reach their end consumers. They collect or receive the products through warehouses or distribution centers. Upon collection, they begin the final movement of goods to the end consumers. 

Why is Outbound Logistics important?

Outbound Logistics is the process that connects companies to their customers. The process allows producers to move their products to strategic locations for aggregation, quick dispatch, and last-mile delivery. This process is responsible for moving products to their final destination, helping satisfy consumer demand. 

How is Outbound Logistics different from Inbound Logistics?

The processes of Outbound Logistics and Inbound Logistics are separate and opposite parts of an integrated logistics operation. 

Outbound Logistics is the movement of products in the direction of the consumers, from the origin to the final destination for further sale or consumption. Whereas Inbound Logistics is the movement of products towards the producer or seller, involving the movement of raw material and unfinished goods for further processing to produce finished goods fit for final consumption.

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