Saturday, January 20, 2024

Comparing Military Logistics vs Commercial Logistics

Comparing Military Logistics vs Commercial Logistics


  • Requires various supplies in order to proceed
  • Consumes supplies as operations continue - and operations halt when supply is exhausted
  • Both have various supply classes
  • Impracticality of carrying and maintaining all the supplies needed for an extended period of time
  • Both use networks of supply bases and have transportation routes
  • Predictable usage cycles (fighting seasons in military, Christmas season for commercial)
  • Unpredictable demand spikes (unforeseen offensives in military, commercial products "go viral")


  • Military has virtually unlimited funding; commercial activities must operate within budget
  • Military supplies are subject to physical attack from an enemy, commercial supplies are not - usually
  • Military logistic networks are organized into trees; commercial networks aren't
  • Commercial activities can rapidly reorganize supply chains; military has "friction"
  • Raiding is acceptable in military context, but isn't in commercial context.

A large number of Union Pacific trains were raided in LA in Jan 2022. UP has their own police department, but they did nothing to prevent the looting. Their failure lets me know there's a gray zone between military and commercial logistics, and that is a zone that should be occupied.

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