Third-party logistics companies offer resources and expertise to companies that outsource part or all of their supply chain management or logistics. If you are using, or thinking of using, a 3PL provider it is important to know what to expect. Below are three facts all companies using 3PL services should know:
1. 3PL Relationship
You must understand that the 3PL provider that you choose is more than just a service you use, it is a partner in all aspects of your supply chain. Think of the logistics provider as an extension of your organization, like another employee or department. When looking for a 3PL provider, make sure it fits with your organization’s culture. Treat your logistics provider as you would treat your employees for the most effective relationship. It is important to invest the time in your relationship with your 3PL provider just like you would with your employees.
Third-party logistics is a general term used to refer to many different types of logistics providers. Depending on your organization’s needs, one 3PL type may be better for you than another. Below is a general overview of the different types of third-party logistics providers.
- Trucking companies that also do warehousing
- Warehousing companies that have their own fleet, specialize in LTL or rail freight
- Trucking companies that focus on intermodal forms of transportation
Some 3PL providers have just one of these types, but some offer all three.
When you decide to work with a third-party logistics provider you gain all of their resources as your own. Each 3PL provider has different resources, so pick one that fits your needs best. Below are a few common resources that a 3PL can provide:
- Technology or software
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