A Guide to Inbound and Outbound Logistics Processes

What exactly is inbound and outbound logistics, and how do they work?

The two most frequent methods for transporting products throughout the retail supply chain are inbound and outbound logistics. Inbound logistics and outbound logistics are both concerned with the movement of items from one distribution channel to another, however inbound logistics deals with supply and outbound logistics fulfills demand.

Inbound logistics

Raw materials, finished goods, and supplies may travel from a manufacturer or other distribution channel to a fulfillment center, warehouse, or retail store.

Outbound logistics

Inbound logistics processes are concerned with the movement of end products from the manufacturer to the consumer, which generally begins in a distribution or fulfillment center and is then sent to its ultimate location.

What is the distinction between inbound and outbound logistics?

The primary distinction between inbound and outbound logistics is to whom the items and products are delivered. Inbound and outbound logistics are two terms that are frequently confused with each other. Inbound logistics refers to receiving products from the manufacturing plant or product developer, whereas outbound logistics is concerned with delivering stuff to end customers.

Inbound logistics

Inbound logistics is the process of receiving raw materials or finished goods from a vendor.

Outbound logistics

The procedures for transferring the ultimate products to the customer are known as outbound logistics.

The inbound and outbound logistics processes

Inbound and outbound logistics are two different parts of the supply chain management process. Both processes focus on the movement of products from one distribution network to another. It’s important to understand how each procedure works in order to optimize the supply chain, reduce logistics expenses, and better manage consumer expectations.

Inbound logistics processes

Here are some common inbound logistics examples.

Purchasing materials

Inbound logistics entail the acquisition of raw materials and finished goods. You should maintain track of your purchases and have accurate freight tracking in place with your supplier or manufacturer.


The receiving team receives, acknowledges, logs, and stows the goods in their designated inventory storage spot after they arrive at a warehouse. To assist you keep track of when and how much inventory has arrived at the warehouse, you’ll need a solid method of inventory tracking.

Reverse logistics

Reverse logistics, sometimes known as back-end logistics, includes the handling of customer returns and exchanges after new shipments arrive at the warehouse and need to be examined and restocked into available inventory.

Outbound logistics processes

Here are a few common outbound logistics examples.

Order processing

When an order is placed, it is sent to the warehouse management system (WMS) and pushed into the queue to be processed.

Product picking and packing

The products are taken from their designated inventory location, and stock levels are verified to ensure they are correct. Products are then packed, labeled, and arranged by carrier and service after that.

Shipping out finished goods

The products are delivered to the carriers, who then pick them up and ship the finished items.


Your supply chain can be optimized by optimizing your inbound and outbound logistics networks. Finished products must make several trips throughout the supply chain before arriving at your client’s doors.

E-commerce logistics processes that aren’t effective can be challenging for businesses to source products and have them delivered to consumers. Though complicated, inbound and outbound logistic are two crucial elements of a healthy supply chain.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the stress of managing inbound and outbound logistics on your own, contact Launch Fulfillment by clicking the button below.