Inbound Logistics

Inbound Logistics Definition

The process in which goods and raw materials are delivered from the supplier to the business. Ordering, transporting, receiving, storing, and managing these goods or raw materials are considered to be part of inbound logistics. Essentially anything coming “in” to the company can be put into the inbound logistics category.

Inbound Logistics Processes

Inbound logistics may sound simple from its definition, but there are many steps involved in this part of the supply chain. Some common activities involved in inbound logistics include:

  • Sourcing and procuring suppliers
  • Ordering goods and materials
  • Transporting supplies, goods, and materials to your business
  • Receiving and unloading goods
  • Handling materials within the business or storage facility
  • Inventory management
  • Distribution
  • Tracking
  • Reverse logistics (A process in which customers send back their orders to your business)

Inbound vs. Outbound Logistics

While inbound logistics focuses on products coming into the business and moving within the business’s facilities or the business itself, outbound logistics focuses on products leaving the business and being delivered to the end-user.

Inbound logistics usually start from a supplier and end at the business. Outbound logistics usually start at a business or fulfillment center and end at the customer’s doorsteps.

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