fosdesk logo

What is the Overhead Cost in Logistics and Supply Chain?

Logistics Overhead Cost

Have you ever wanted to know why businesses sometimes fail to maintain profitability despite making reasonable sales? The issue can be resolved once you grasp the concept of overhead costs. The overhead cost is a vital part of logistics and supply chain management for ascertaining the financial picture fully.

In contrast to those direct expenditures incurred during the production and transportation processes, the overhead costs are the so-called indirect expenses that are essential for the operational management of the whole logistics system. Let us then get deep into the concept of overhead costs this will highlight the relevance in the logistics and supply chain industry to manage unnecessary costs.

Overhead Cost

The overhead costs are the indirect expenses, which are categories of costs that cannot be linked to the unit of goods or services and are a kind of costs that occur in logistics and supply chain management. Unlike the production and storage barriers, these costs are major significant costs that can affect the logistics system to work for a long time. 

Usually, overhead costs are not like operational costs where overhead costs are related to the costs incurred such as the equipment and facilities that are usually unchanged by the level of activities in the supply chain. This involves an indirect expenditure like facility costs such as rent, power, and maintenance needs, which form the foundation of the spatial and resource constitution and ongoing service provision. 

Components of Overhead Costs in Logistics

Facilities and Infrastructure

The logistics and supply chain facilities and infrastructure expenditures cover multiple vital areas necessary for effective operations.

Rent and mortgage costs are intended to compensate the cost of renting or buying warehouses, distribution centers, offices and so on that are crucial to logistics operations.

Utility cost refers to the electricity, water, and natural gas required for the operations and maintenance of logistics facilities.

Logistics operations require ongoing expenses that focus on facilities, equipment, and vehicle repair or maintenance, where the functioning is kept optimal. Property, equipment, and vehicles depreciate with time, which is associated with the aging and usage of the assets in logistics operations.

Administration and Management

Administration and management costs in logistics and supply chain management encompass several key elements that are important.

Regarding salaries and benefits, these refer to the compensation provided to the administrative personnel, managers, and supervisors who are involved in the management and coordination of logistical operations.

The costs of office supplies comprise the expenses related to obtaining stationery, printing materials, IT assets, and other needed supplies for daily administrative work in logistics operations.

Professional fees consist of the expenses that take place for engaging external services like legal counsel, accounting service providers, and other professional services crucial for the company to attain regulatory compliance and ideal logistic management.

Technology and Software

Technology and software expenses play a critical role in facilitating efficient logistics and supply chain management.

Software licenses serve as major costs for logistics management, transportation scheduling, and warehouse inventory control software acquirement and subscription, thus leading to efficient operations and greater productivity.

Spare parts are an essential aspect of hardware maintenance that involves both procurement and inventory management to adequately support and repair the essential hardware devices such as computers, scanners, printers, and other equipment utilized in the operations of logistics entities whilst reducing idle time. 

IT infrastructure costs involve hardware replacement and updating the servers, networks, and other components that are used for replying support, logistics, and supply chain operations, enabling smooth data flows, communications, and system reliability.

The Other Overhead Costs

Other overhead costs include a variety of important expenditures required to support logistics and supply chain operations.

Insurance costs include a different range of risks such as property damage, liability claims, and other unforeseeable activities, which create financial security and protection for the logistics activities.

Marketing and advertising costs include advertising and promoting logistics services to prospective clients through various channels, brand development, attracting potential customers, and business expansion.

Training and development costs can be presented in the form of investments into employee training programs that help to improve employee competencies in procedures, regulations, and safety protocols for the workers to be capable of delivering high-quality services.

Strategies for Managing Overhead Costs

Using different tactics to minimize overhead costs in logistics and supply chain procedures is a crucial element of operations. It can be done through negotiations with the vendors on the rate based on the aim of lowering the expenditure. The basis of waste minimization and operational efficiency is to effectively use all resources at hand. With improved technological solutions, such as automation, the company can decrease labor expenses.

Outsourcing non-essential activities from outside service providers enables businesses to focus on their core competencies. Through ongoing analysis and monitoring of overhead costs, a business can proactively manage these costs by identifying areas where improvement is possible. These methods help businesses to handle overhead costs and maintain long-term stability. 


In the end, understanding the difference between operational and overhead costs and especially knowing how effectively to manage overhead costs in logistics and supply chain operations are essential for ensuring financial sustainability and long-term success. 

Overhead costs, although indirect, play a significant role in the overall functioning of logistics systems, impacting profitability and operational efficiency. Businesses can have maximum output of their resources through effective control of the major costs, improve their profitability, and boost their competitiveness in the market through close and effective cost monitoring.

Want to save on your overhead costs? Stay connected with our FOS Desk and reduce your costs to the unimaginable!