Naval Logistics

naval logistics

In the Navy, the importance of shipping procedures goes far beyond the need for periodic replenishment of fuel, though this remains important. Ships must be overhauled, repaired, and resupplied with ammunition, food and, and all necessary products that the crew may need. Within limits, these requirements can be filled by specialized auxiliary ships either accompanying naval forces at sea as well as stationed at predetermined rendezvous points. By using auxiliaries and by rotating ships and personnel, modern fleets can remain at sea indefinitely, particularly if not engaged in combat. With all of the above mentioned in mind, in this article, we will endeavor to understand the role of the supply chain and logistics in the Navy.

 According to Digital Commons the definition of Naval logistics is as follows:

Officially Naval logistics has been defined as ‘the supply of material and personnel, including the procurement, storage, distribution and transportation of material, and the procurement, housing, training, distribution and transportation of personnel together with the rendering of services to Naval operating forces.”

 Key Components of Navy Operations

The potential effectiveness of a Naval force is dependent on three main areas; mobility, fighting power, and movement.  These attributes are activated based on the Commander’s objectives and plan; however, all of these systems rely heavily on sufficient logistics in order to run and be put into action when necessary. The Navy is supported by local supply, self-containment, and supply from bases in order to remain operational.


Self-containment is the least economical of all methods of supply. Accompanying transport is employed at the beginning of the movement that serves as a rolling warehouse which is progressively depleted. Often these setups need adequate warehouse software in place to help with the constant supply changes. Fast-moving, self-contained forces leave a trail of abandoned vehicles. The basic trade-off in self-containment is between the speed gained by avoiding delays and detours and the speed lost due to the weight of the train.

Supplies from Local Ports

When effectively organized, local supply allows for the highest degree of mobility for the Navy. Restocking at key ports and areas that allowing Naval ships to station give the Navy the opportunity to restock and head back out to sea.

Supply from Bases

The alternate to self-containment or local supply is continuous resupply and replacement from stores pre-stocked at bases or other access points. However, supply from bases includes three serious disadvantages. First, supply routes are frequently vulnerable to attack. Secondly the Navy shackled to its bases lacks flexibility and moves slowly even further slowly as it advances. Finally, the transportation prices of maintaining a flow of supply over substantial distances are heavy. Beyond this, local bases are still extremely necessary and useful to any Naval fleet looking to remain well stocked out at sea.