Delivery is the process of transporting goods from a source location to a predefined destination. There are different delivery types. Cargo (physical goods) are primarily delivered via roads and railroads on land, shipping lanes on the sea and airline networks in the air. Certain specialized goods may be delivered via other networks, such aspipelines for liquid goods, power grids for electrical power and computer networks such as the Internet or broadcast networks for electronic information.
The general process of delivering goods is known as distribution. The study of effective processes for delivery and disposition of goods and personnel is called logistics. Firms that specialize in delivering commercial goods from point of production or storage to point of sale are generally known as distributors, while those that specialize in the delivery of goods to the consumer are known as delivery services. Postal, courier, and relocation services also deliver goods for commercial and private interests.
Most consumer goods are delivered from a point of production (factory or farm) through one or more points of storage (warehouses) to a point of sale (retail store), where the consumer buys the good and is responsible for its transportation to point of consumption. There are many variations on this model for specific types of goods and modes of sale. Products sold via catalogue or the Internet may be delivered directly from the manufacturer or warehouse to the consumer’s home, or to an automated delivery booth. Small manufacturers may deliver their products directly to retail stores without warehousing.