The Most Ground-Breaking Inventions For Logistics

February 11th is National Inventors Day! And in celebration, we’ve taken a look at the top three ground-breaking inventions for the world of logistics, and the impact these have had on us at Barnes…


The invention of the HGV was a hugely important factor for the development of the logistics industry as far more goods could be transported in one haul in comparison to horse and carts. The first steam-powered wagon was built as early as 1769 but were not commonly used until the mid 1800s. Towards the end of the 19th century Karl Benz designed and built the first truck to ever use an internal combustion engine, and soon after other manufacturers swiftly followed. It was only in the 1930s that the diesel engine become common in trucks – partly due to a change in road tax rules that ensured that they were more economical.


An invention that has greatly improved the efficiency within the automated logistics industry was the bar code. The first model was created by Bernard Silver in 1948 using ultraviolet ink and light, and has developed throughout the decades to be computerised. Information on bar codes is stored as a sequence of black and white bars with varying width, which is then read by a laser and stored or sent. The use of bar codes in logistics means that goods can be accounted for, far quicker than manually identifying and noting by hand – an essential so that our Barnes warehouse workers can then dedicate more time to their many other tasks.


An invention that is so ingrained into our daily lives that we take it for granted is, of course, the internet! This ‘network of networks’ was the work of dozens of dedicated and pioneering scientists, but in 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created of the World Wide Web which made the internet accessible to all. The internet was hugely important to the development of telematics systems, which is now seen as a vital part of road haulage in the logistics industry. From monitoring road speed to measuring fuel efficiency to accurate GPS locating, thanks to the invention of the internet, telematics was born and has hugely aided the industry by improving cost efficiency and driver safety – something we at Barnes pride ourselves on.


All of these ground breaking inventions have been immensely important to the world of logistics, and have played a huge part in how we at Barnes Logistics can work as effectively and efficiently as we do today.