When it comes to transporting materials and coordinating supplies a lot of terms get thrown around. If you’re new to the industry they can be confusing. In this article we’ll clarify the difference between logistics and transportation.

What's the difference between transportation and logistics?

What is Transportation?

Transportation is the movement of goods from one place to another. It’s as simple as that.

As an example, you need to purchase a raw material to make your new product. You order from your supplier, they package it, put it on a truck and ship it to your place of business. In this example transportation is the process by which the package is moved from the supplier to your place of business.

This is just an example. In business terms transportation can refer to the movement of raw materials, final products, supplies and anything in between. Also, there are various different modes of transportation including air, sea, rail, truck, etc.

What is Logistics?

The BusinessDictionary.com defines logistics as:

Planning, execution, and control of the procurement, movement, and stationing of personnel, material, and other resources to achieve the objectives of a campaign, plan, project, or strategy. It may be defined as the ‘management of inventory in motion and at rest.’


To use the same example as we did before, let’s say you own a business and determine you need to purchase a raw material to make your new product. Your Purchasing Department will identify a supplier for your material and negotiate a price. Logistics is then responsible for arranging shipment of the material, possibly storing the material and often helping determine when it will be reordered.

Logistics includes all the processes, people and resources needed from the time you decide a product or material needs to be moved to the time that the material is ready for use at the next location. As you can see, the term logistics encompasses a great deal more than just the transportation of materials. Logistics includes the planning necessary to successfully transport goods as well as the execution of the transportation. This can include determining order quantities and reorder levels, deciding appropriate methods of transport and possibly interim storage locations, preparing and coordinating the appropriate documentation required for transport, and more.

What’s the Difference Between Transportation and Logistics?

Transportation is the movement of goods whereas logistics is the planning and execution of that transportation as well as the management of the processes and resources required for it.

In fact, transportation is a part of logistics.

Logistics as a Service

Logistics is a great deal more than just putting a box on a truck. The planning and procedures built into logistics services help ensure that box gets put on that truck at the right time with no disruption to other processes and as cost efficiently as possible.

It’s a lot to manage.

Captech Logistics helps small businesses by taking these responsibilities off their plate. Our vast experience in logistics coupled with our integrated computer systems allow us to efficiently manage your materials and products. We can do the heavy lifting so you can work on growing your business. If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call today to discuss how we can help.