What is the Difference Between a Supply Chain and Logistics?

When it comes to ecommerce fulfillment, inventory management and product services, the terms supply chain and logistics are often used interchangeably, and while they both belong to the same industry and share similarities, there are, in fact, key differences between them. 

As a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider in Canada, we at Envoy Warehousing and Logistics understand how the differences between the supply chain and logistics work together to benefit our business of order fulfillment across Canada and the U.S. 

So, let’s discuss what is the difference between a supply chain and logistics by first understanding what each is individually.

What is a Supply Chain?

A supply chain consists of the interconnected and coordinated network of companies, business processes and facilities that source, develop, manufacture and deliver products to a customer, whether that customer be a consumer, a distributor or a manufacturer. Each part of the supply chain is integral to bringing a product to market. 

Supply chain management encompasses the management of all the activities that gets a product made and delivered. This includes the sourcing and processing of raw materials that are then turned into products that are delivered to customers.  

What is Logistics?

Simply put, logistics is concerned with how items within the supply chain are moved, stored and then transported into the hands of customers. When it comes to logistics, effective planning and execution is of utmost importance. 

An efficient logistics plan is one that effectively utilizes key resources such as equipment, facilities and people to decide when and how best to move items, all while ensuring those items have a spot to go to when they are moved. 

With warehouses and fulfillment centres packed to the brim with inventory, it takes careful planning and coordination of logistics processes to ensure a balance of incoming and outgoing items. That is why you will find processes such as transportation or fleet management, inventory management, handling, and order fulfillment are all managed under logistics. 

What are the differences between a Supply Chain vs. Logistics?

While it is clear that logistics is a part of the supply chain and that both deal with the movement of goods, it does not make them one and the same.

The differences between a supply chain and logistics come down to two main facets: their scope and their focus.

  1. Their scope. As discussed, logistics covers the storage and movement of goods within the supply chain, while the supply chain encompasses logistics plus a whole host of other processes related to goods and services, such as production, manufacturing, planning, materials and facilities management, shipping and fulfillment. Ultimately, logistics is about order fulfillment to the customer, while the supply chain is about getting raw materials developed into finished products that go from supplier to producer to warehouse to retailer or direct to consumer.

  2. Their focus. When you are looking for efficiences in your supply chain, it is primarily because your focus is on finding a competitive advantage. A supply chain that can deliver a finished product faster for cheaper while being consistent and reliable is going to be the one that gets the bulk of the business. Logistics, on the other hand, is focused solely on ensuring that customer needs and expectations are continuously met.

Trust Envoy to be your full-service third-party logistics partner for e-commerce and order fulfillment in Canada!

Whether you are shipping within Canada or shipping from the U.S. to Canada, Envoy Warehousing and Logistics can provide you with efficient logistics solutions

Contact us today orget a quote to learn more about how Envoy’s decades of proven success can help you grow your e-commcerce business.

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