11 Logistics Facts For the Love of Logistics

Published on
Feb 15, 2018
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Logistics and supply chain management are not just important considerations for your business — they can be fun and fascinating subjects as well. Test your logistics knowledge with these 11 fun and sometimes surprising facts.

  1. The word "logistics" comes from a 19th-century French word, "logistique." This French word was originally exclusively associated with the transportation of soldiers and military supplies until it was later adopted for civilian applications.
  2. The logistics industry is a big business. In the U.S., over 9 million people directly depend on the logistics industry as their main source of income.
  3. American businesses spend big money every year to ship their products. Companies spend approximately $1.5 trillion on logistical expenses, which is equal to almost eight percent of the entire U.S. GDP.
  4. There are 15.5 million trucks in the U.S., but only 3.5 million qualified truck drivers. The country's truck drivers are responsible for more than 70 percent of the total amount of freight transported in the U.S.
  5. Even with so many people already working in the industry, there are still a lot of job opportunities. Each year, 300,000 new logistic-related jobs are created.
  6. There are more female long-haul truckers than you might expect. In the U.S., there are over 200,000 women that drive big rigs professionally, and that figure is expected to climb in the coming years as more women become aware of the opportunity.
  7. Trucks today are much better for the environment than in the past. It takes over 60 modern big rigs using today's super-clean diesel to equal the emissions of a single truck produced prior to 1988.
  8. Although it’s almost impossible to find a product without a barcode today, they first began to show up in the country's supermarkets in 1974. Barcodes were originally designed as a way to keep track of railway cars as they traveled across the country.
  9. Supply chain management (SCM) is an important aspect of every business today. Surprisingly, the first person widely credited with using SCM is Henry Ford, who designed and built his factories to make it as easy as possible to manage his inventory and shipping needs.
  10. Food, furniture, electronics and clothing are by far the most commonly shipped varieties of items in the U.S. These items make up the majority of the income for shipping companies.
  11. Air freight is more than four times as popular as sea freight. 9.5 billion tons of trade goods are shipped by boat worldwide each year, but over 42 billion tons of goods are transported by air.