Fields of Logistics

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For the standardization logistics is subdivided in 7 fields, detailed on the following pages: 

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Fields of Logistics

Distribution logistics Hide

Distribution logistics controls and monitors all processes required for a transfer of goods or also information from a sender to a recipient (business subjects).
As a rule, distribution logistics target a seller-buyer relation, i.e. senders are usually sellers and recipients are buyers.
A wide variety of interfaces that have to match one another are required for the transfer of goods and information. Typical examples here are the gate sizes at a delivery ramp suitable for the supply truck, or the interaction of various computer systems when logging the goods flows (incoming and outgoing goods).
The task constellations transport, turnaround/order picking and storage are core functions of distribution. They are accompanied by planning tasks within the framework of the supply chain management, for example the design of optimised distribution networks. In the above terms of reference, standards can help to coordinate transport equipment and warehousing systems optimally to one another.

Green logistics Show

A field of logistics involves green logistics, which aims to shape logistics processes in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
Green logistics is involved with the integrated, sustainable adaptation of logistics strategies, structures, processes and systems in companies and corporate networks in order to realise environmentally compatible and resource-efficient logistics processes.
The aim is a sustainable orientation of companies by establishing equilibrium of ecological and economic efficiency. This safeguards the resource supply and resource regeneration in the supply chain and establishes environmentally friendly and resource-efficient logistics activities.
The first steps towards green logistics were taken by standardisation with DIN EN 16258. The standard applicable throughout Europe describes a method for calculating and declaring the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during transport services (goods and passenger transport). DIN also assists in the creation of an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) at ISO, which will define internationally harmonised methods for a coherent quantification of CO2 emissions in goods transport. Besides merely determining the greenhouse gas emissions resulting over the supply chain, the aim of these two standardisation projects is to ultimately devise more environmentally friendly and sustainable logistics processes.

Identification systems Show

Methods for data logging and processing of automatic identification, in particular in the area of target management and traceability of processes, are an indispensable element in today's logistics.
Different technologies, e.g. barcode, matrix code or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) are used here.
The methods of automatic identification (Auto-ID) comprise systems for identification, data logging, data collection and data transfer.
Unique identification characteristics, referred to as an identifier, are used fore unique recognition. Barcodes, other labels (Smart Label, Hard Tags) as well as RFID can be used both for data transmission as well as for the identification of objects. Coded information is read mechanically into logistics systems. The data logged automatically is used to gain information that can be used for the optimisation and traceability of supply chains amongst other things.
The data is saved structured according to agreed rules for this. The subsequent interpretation at the recipient end is ensured by determination on common data types with definite data fields and variables. Barcode and transponder enable an asynchronous communication between the sender of the message, who provides the data carrier, and the recipient, the reading station.
An example of standardised automatic identification technology:

DIN EN ISO/IEC 15423 Information technology - Automatic identification and data capture techniques - Bar code scanner and decoder performance testing

Load and transport safety Show

This area of logistics includes processes for securing loads (freight goods) for transport by road, rail, air and sea, along with the safety of the transport chain. The aim is to offer "safety" both in the sense of operational safety and in the sense of safety from attack.

Load securing

Load securing typically includes

  • Safe structure of the load
  • Load securing equipment
  • Load securing methods
  • Load securing in combined transport

However, it is also important to maintain the condition and quality during transport, by integrating the following aspects here:

  • Prevention of contamination, mix-ups, confusion by the packaging
  • Prevention of mix-ups/replacement, for example by barcode/RFID technology
  • Prevention of damage due to improper handling, e.g. by packaging or organisational measures
  • Integration of special requirements for transport, for example the temperature during transport (cooling chain for food, heating devices for liquid asphalt) or certain requirements in respect to transport times (perishable freight, freight with temperature holding times such as liquid metals, deep-frozen liquefied gases)

The series DIN EN 12195 Load restraining on road vehicles - Safety represents the requirements applicable throughout Europe for load securing. The series deals with the most important securing devices, tying chains, tying wire ropes and tying straps, and specifies the method for calculating securing forces.

Safety of the transport chain

The following can enhance the safety of the transport chain:

  • Consignment tracking
  • Route planning / Transport chain
  • Securing against unauthorised access
  • Safety management systems

The series ISO 28000 "Specification for security management systems for the supply chain" defines international requirements for the safety management system for the transport chain.

Logistics system and management Show

The area of logistics system and management covers the integrative planning, organisation, control, handling and monitoring of the entire material and goods flow with the associated information flows and sometimes only ends with the disposal or recycling of a product.
A logistics system in the company is characterised by the logistical performance phases. The logistics system of a company can be divided into the following subsystems:

  • Procurement logistics
  • Production logistics
  • Distribution logistics
  • Disposal logistics

Standards previously drawn up in this area include:

DIN EN 12507 "Transportation services - Guidance notes on the application of EN ISO 9001:2000 to the road transportation, storage, distribution and railway goods industries" in which directives are specified for the application of EN ISO 9001:2002 "Quality management systems", for the provision of freight transport services on roads and rail, including associated areas of activity such as warehousing and distribution
DIN EN 13011 "Transportation Services - Goods transport chains - System for declaration of performance conditions" in which requirements are specified for formulating agreements in respect to the quality characteristics of a goods transport chain. This provides a means of being able to define specific data for the performance characteristics essential for the provision or service. It consequently enables the transport/packing companies to plan their requirements correspondingly and fulfil their obligations in line with the Directive concerning packaging and packaging waste

Packing and order picking Show

Order picking forms part of the logistical process. The packing process is usually integrated in the order picking process, alternatively in the production process.
Order picking involves bring together certain partial quantities (articles) from a total quantity (range) provided, based on the requirement information (order). This involves a transformation from a warehouse-specific state into a consignment-specific state. The correct packing usually represents the completion of an order picking process. The packing has different functions here:

  • Enclosing the packed item
  • Protective function for the packed item and against the packed item
  • Simple handling of the packed item during turnaround and order picking
  • Good spatial utilisation for transport and storage (e.g. through suitable dimensions and stacking capability)
  • Packing can impart information on the packaged item, destination and transport route (barcode, RFID)


Good packing enables efficiency in logistical processes – millions of EUR pallets alone in Germany prove their merit as a simple loading aid on a daily basis.

The standard EN 13698-1 "Pallet production specification - Part 1: Construction specification for 800 mm x 1200 mm flat wooden pallets" defines the manufacturing characteristics of a pallet as well as a number of requirements for the production and marking, while discussing issues of safety.

Production, warehousing, materials handling logistic Show

Production, warehousing and materials handling logistics are immensely important for the process of providing services within companies.

Owing to the every stricter requirement to make goods ordered at short notice available, these methods must be applied as efficiently and reliably as possible. The application of suitable standards will help ensure that these methods are perfectly coordinated with one another at their interfaces. As an added benefit, new technical developments can be integrated effectively in existing systems if the interfaces are compatible. Although there are usually works-internal agreements in respect to the system transitions, there are hardly any across companies. Processes involving a division of labour could be improved and speeded up by the use of standards materials handling systems, for example inter-coordinated small load carriers and pallets.

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