Physical Distribution

  • Eugene L. Magad
  • John M. Amos
Part of the Competitive Manufacturing Series book series (COMMS)


Physical distribution, often referred to as distribution, is the materials management subfunction most closely related to finished goods. In the context of total materials management, physical distribution is defined as all activities related to finished goods, starting with their receipt from the company’s manufacturing facility and/or from a supplier, and concluding with the delivery to a customer. Coyle, Bardi, and Cavinato1 define physical distribution as “the movement and storage associated with finished goods from manufacturing plants to warehouses and to customers.” This vital subfunction may include the following activities: receiving, storage, materials handling, order assembly/picking, packaging, shipping, and transportation.


Customer Service Distribution Center Material Handling Physical Distribution Order Picker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene L. Magad
    • 1
  • John M. Amos
    • 2
  1. 1.William Rainey Harper CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Applied EngineeringUniversity of Missouri-RollaUSA

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