By Jasper P Miller
Have you ever considered what the world would be like without logistics systems in place ensuring that consumers and businesses around the globe have their needs met on a daily basis?
So, you feel like a tea or a coffee? Well, there’s none in your cupboard. Did you notice that your trash is piling up? Well, there’s no longer a rubbish service available. Oh, and you wanted to browse the Internet on your laptop? Well, you don’t have a laptop; the parts never left mainland China. The world without logistics would be basic and supplies would be very limited. Now you might ask yourself: “How did logistics even begin and how did it impact the world we live in today?”
When did logistics begin?
According to Invesopdia; logistics refers to the overall process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination. Now that we understand the meaning of ‘logistics,’ how did it all begin? Throughout history, stories of nations invading other nations is a common theme. From the great Persian Empire through to the Roman and Greek Empires (to name a few), logistics were a crucial part of their survival, as troops needed adequate supplies as they conquered kingdoms. As the old adage goes, order stems from chaos; hence the earliest troops that went to war (chaos) were supported by the world’s first logistics systems (order). It is incredible to think that ‘war’ gave birth to something as useful as supply chain systems and operations.
From those early times, moving into the Middle Ages and further into the Industrial Age, logistics around the world grew, developed and flourished, supporting not only the military but the ‘everyday man’. Roads, ships, railways, cars, and warehouses were built during these Ages and the framework of logistics systems were readily put into place. Suddenly, the world became far smaller and easier to navigate.
Logistics has come a long way
And now (missing a huge chunk of history) we are here, as if by magic, the supplies of the world are not only within reach but oftentimes only a simple ‘click’ away. So, tonight you feel like sitting on the couch, watching Elon’s live stream of a Tesla floating in space while ordering your favourite takeaway on UberEats? Sure, why not! Nowadays logistics is far more accessible and user-friendly than ever before. The supply chain is now supported by cloud-based systems, machine learning, AI, automation and even robots (that spend their days picking and stacking). Mind blowing technology has revolutionised the industry and the world is reaping the benefits.
Looking back on history, it is amazing to see the advancements humanity has made towards better global logistics operations. The way we are operating now should get both consumers and businesses even more excited for the future. Who knows, maybe space vacations and intergalactic take away will be something on the horizon? You might laugh at my space vacation concept but please keep in mind the words from a study published by DHL stating:
“Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous.” Remember that and consider it carefully. If a statement said to be about the future makes sense to you, it is probably about the present and therefore not very useful. If it shocks or disgusts you, or seems ridiculous science fiction, it may be about the future, and hence useful to you.”
In conclusion, the world without logistics would be very bland, making so-called ‘basic items’, like coffee, inaccessible. Today, thankfully, logistics does exist and coffee is not only accessible but also expected in everyone’s cupboard. Let logistics look after the mundane, and be grateful that these systems have you covered and allow us to evolve and grow into a brighter more connected world. Think about the future of logistics and remember if it makes you laugh, then it’s completely plausible.