Effect and affect. Allusion and illusion. Who and whom.

These are all words that people tend to use interchangeably, even though they have very different meanings. That’s totally understandable, as they sound similar and often have related meanings. “How did the EFFECT AFFECT you,” for example. But there is a pairing of regularly interchangeably-used terms that actually mean quite different things:

The logistics industry and the transportation industry.

When someone says they are looking into employment as a trucker, they might say that they are looking for a job within the logistics industry. And while this is technically true, there is much more to it than that.

Wait, What’s The Difference?

The transportation industry is exclusively involved with the transportation of goods from one place to another. It could involve long-haul trucking, air travel, or shipping by sea, but it’s all part of the same industry. If you are professionally transporting an item from New York City to Los Angeles, then you are working in the transportation industry. The field is usually divided into the subcategories of infrastructure, vehicle management, and operations.

Now, let’s talk logistics.

The transportation industry is PART of the logistics industry, and a significant part at that. The difference is that while the transportation industry is the one that moves the goods, the logistics industry is the one that figures out how to obtain, secure, store, and distribute the goods to the appropriate receiver. In this way, logistics is more involved with planning while the transportation industry is more involved with the actual movement of the goods.

Some of the responsibilities of the logistics industry include:

  • Documenting
  • Packaging
  • Inventory management
  • Storage
  • Distribution
  • Import regulations
  • Export regulations
  • Insurance
  • Vendor communication
  • Coordination
  • Risk management

And yes, transportation is at the very heart of the logistics industry.

What About Distribution?

There is also a difference between the distribution level of the logistics industry and transportation, even though they are, again, often used interchangeably.

Distribution involves figuring out the best way to move goods through a distribution channel, involving transportation costs, methods, and the navigation of obstacles that could get in the way of delivery. For example, if there was a major snowstorm in the Midwest, it would be up to distribution to figure out a way to deal with the problem, providing the transportation industry with an alternative method of delivering the goods.

Take Advantage of Your Opportunities!

The difference between logistics and transportation just goes to show what an amazing industry this is. There are so many different aspects of it, each requiring different specialties and focuses. No matter your education level, training, or experience, there is likely a place for you somewhere in the logistics industry. And that’s what we excel in at Spectra360.

We connect talented workers with companies that need them. Whether it be temp, temp-to-hire, or contract work, we can help you find a position that will be a perfect fit for your experience and career goals! If you’d like to learn more about how, we invite you to contact us today!

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