A Closer Look into the Nature of Cargo & Logistics

Cargo and logistics are the twin functions of trade and commerce in today’s interconnected global economy. In its inception, the load was the transportation of goods from one place to another using a sea-going ship. Today, however, this is accomplished by all three means: air, land and of course via the sea. As for freight it usually refers to the cash that has to be paid to transport goods in the form of a cargo supply. When the load which is the cargo is conveyed using a vessel, it is called a shipment. Nowadays, many of these words have become interchangeable. 

Coming to the second term, logistics, its meaning is related to cargo yet distinct from it. Generally, to give you a rough idea, freight and logistics are different from each other as software and hardware or data and the worldwide web. One is the nitty-gritty content while other is the form which holds it. Thus cargo is a load of goods carried on a truck, aeroplane or ship. Logistics though is the means whereby coordination takes place between individuals, goods and amenities. It may include the costs of supporting materials and services. 

Therefore, cargo is the tangible physical goods, whereas logistics refers to the psychological business behind it all. The wheeling and dealing that gets the job done are what logistics is all about. Logistics has applications in other fields as well. A good example is the logistics of troops. All that they need is provided to them during wartime and by specific rules and regulations. It is an excellent tuned process since lives are at stake. Logistics is thus the organization and management of supplying goods and services. 

Logistics is slightly different from supply chain management. The latter is a broader and bigger process. It is like the difference between your local political body and big government which is more influential. Also, while logistics companies own all their assets, freight forwarders do not hold any purchases whatsoever. Finally, reverting to the word cargo, in this age of rapid commercialism, the conveyance of goods which are in high demand over large distances means big bucks provided there is quality, honesty and no hitches along the way. Among some of the stuff that comprises cargo may include: 

  • Seafood
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Grain
  • Metal
  • Logs
  • Water
  • Cement
  • Steel
  • Coal

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