Supply Chain and Logistics Fun Facts and Statistics

Knowing about subjects related to the supply chain management, logistics and how to deal with an inventory are vital matters to the company owner. David Kiger knows that nowadays it is more important to focus on this type of things if you want your company to be successful. However, many people see this subjects as if they were new things or came out of the blue.

In reality, there are many fun facts related to how the concepts of logistics and supply chain were born and how they kept on developing through the course of years. For this reason, in this article readers will be able to find a list of fun facts –both historical and recent- related to those crucial matters: supply chain management and logistics.

Related: Logistics and Transportation Spotlight

Fun Facts in History

  • Origin of the word logistics: Many people may think that the word logistics in new terms invented by specialists or companies to define all the necessary elements to have and effective supply chain. However, it started to be commonly used in the 19th century in France. However, its original meaning was completely different from the one it holds today.
  • Barcodes: Originally, barcodes were used with a very purpose. They were used to label cars on the railroad. It wasn’t’ until 1974 that they were introduced to supermarkets to codify products and improve inventory systems. This started to become popular within time and retailers started to use them in order to become more efficient.
  • First Example of SCM: Ford was the first person in history to use a supply chain management and just in time production model to obtain results as a massive producer of cars. He planned ahead and organized his factories in a way he could order the required materials and have them at hand when production needed to be started. A fun fact about this production model is that it was designed by Gene Thomas, the founder of IBM.
  • Council of Supply Chain Management: There is a Council of Supply Chain Management that was founded by professionals in different fields 50 years ago in the United States. It has a global presence, and since the 60’s, it has been in charge of providing important information and courses on Supply Chain related topics.

Related: Supply Chain Management: Breadth and Depth

cargo_logistics_shipping containers
Image courtesy of Unsplash at

Fun Facts and Statistics Nowadays

  • The cost of Transportation logistics in the US: The Council of Supply Chain Management states that in the United States every year more than $1,5 trillion dollars are spent in transportation logistics. This makes this industry one of the most appealing for other companies to invest in. Among this money, $70 billion are calculated to be spent on air freight.
  • The cost of Good for Retailers: Logistics costs in terms of transportation are not only related to transportation in itself, but they also have many things to do with the products and supplies they carry. It is estimated that in the United States goods meant to be sold in the retail industry are worth almost $700 billion dollars.
  • Supply Chain in the US: The supply chain in the US is one of the most dynamic in the world since it integrates multiple means of transportations, such as boats, airplanes, trucks, cars, trains, among others. This means that every year in the US 8% of its gross domestic product or GDP is spent on transportation and related logistics.
  • Common Goods: In the United States, the most common goods moved along retail supply chains are food, electronics, furniture, and clothing. Most expenses associated with logistics are related to these type of goods.
  • Growing in the Transportation Sector: In the United States, each year the transportation sector related to logistics grows 7%. Also, 42% of the transportation used in the US is meant to sever logistics related to the supply chain.
  • Job Openings in the US: The Council of Supply Chain Management accounts that every year in the United States at least 300,000 new jobs are created to serve the logistics industry.
  • Cargo to Europe and Asia: In the US more than 70% of the cargo that is moved by plane is transported between Europe and Asia.
  • Global References: Globally speaking, only 9,5 billion tons of trade goods are transported by boat, while 42 billion tons are transported by air freight. Also, the goods transported via air freight tend to be more valuable than those transported by other means.
  • Economic References: In the world, the transportation logistics related to goods moved via road transport account over $8 billion dollars per year. Also, over $2 trillion dollars are transported between countries or inside them each year.
  • Employment: In the US over 9 million people depend on the transportation via road freight and logistics industry as their main or only source of income.

* Featured Image courtesy of Valerie Everett at


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