What is the Difference Between the Logistics Industry and Transportation?


The Difference Between the Logistics Industry and Transportation

The logistics industry is much broader than the transportation industry. While transportation focuses on the movement of goods from one place to the other, the logistics industry implies a broader spectrum and refers to the whole ‘flow’ management. This includes not only the transportation and delivery of goods but also the storage, handling, inventory, packaging and various other aspects. So, what are the main differences between the logistics industry and the transportation industry?

Transportation is a function within the logistics industry operations. It is focused purely on the definition and deployment of transportation modes, such as sea, road and air. It is also important to differentiate between logistics and the supply chain. The supply chain refers to the entire value chain from the suppliers to the end customer, including after sales services and reverse logistics (recycling).


Transportation is defined as the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. These modes of transport may include air, rail, road, sea, cable, pipeline and space. This field is divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is crucial as it enables trade and communication between one another, which ultimately establishes civilisations.


The logistics industry can be defined as the science of obtaining, producing and distributing material and products to the correct place and in the correct quantities. In a military sense, where it has a greater use, its meaning also includes the movement of personnel. Logistics includes the process of planning, implementing and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective transportation and storage of goods. This includes services and related information from the point of source to the point of consumption for the purpose of fulfilling and conforming to customer requirements.

What is the Difference?

Logistics requires planning, whilst transportation is the mode to execute the planning when freighting goods from point A to B. They are not the same thing but transportation is just simply a part of logistics. When it comes to the logistics industry, logistics executives must make further decisions beyond the mode of transportation to include:

  • Packaging
  • Containerisation
  • Documentation
  • Insurance
  • Storage
  • Importing and Exporting Regulations
  • Freight Damage Claims
  • Working and collaborating with other executives within the supply chain
  • Managing vendors and partners
  • Responsible for risk mitigation

New Technologies

The advancements of new technologies and improved business processes have had an enormous impact on transforming both the logistics industry and transport industry. Technologies have allowed real-time monitoring of flow and resources, transparency across multiple points and the seamless exchange of operational information with key performance indicators that have had a profound impact on the industry.

In this highly competitive market both information and physical products must move with efficient speed and at lower cost, paired with improved service. Successful supply chain management and logistics are often the difference between surviving and flourishing in the current marketplace. Upon improving the supply chain will see immediate benefits in terms of lower costs and optimised delivery.

Get Qualified

Logistics professionals sit at the heart of modern business. They are responsible for the management and the flow of goods and services, from its origin to consumption to meet the customer’s requirements. College for Adult Learning’sDiploma of Logistics (TLI50219) is nationally accredited in Australia, plus highly respected in Asia-Pacific and worldwide. This course will help prepare students to responsibly manage various functions in the wide area of logistics including freight, supply chains, transport, inventory, procurement, warehousing, as well as many other areas.

This qualification is designed to give you the real, working skills you will need to step directly into a career, or will allow you to continue your logistics studies at university. This logistics course may lead to a wide range of career opportunities in logistics, such as a national or international career in Warehouse Management, Transport Operation Management, Distribution Operations Management, Logistics and Inventory Management or Supply Management.

Your Career in Supply Chain Management

Do you want to learn more about supply management and logistics skills employers demand, emerging job roles and salaries, and recent industry insights? 

Discover your career in supply chain management.