Third-party logistics (often abbreviated 3PL) providers are outsourced logistics providers that work with businesses to help manage and move freight. They help businesses streamline their supply chains.
3PL providers help with a variety of shipping services, including transportation and freight management, warehousing, distribution management and freight consolidation. Read why you should choose 3PL:
1. Saves Time and Money
Working with a 3PL ultimately saves a business time and money. 3PLs have an extensive resource network, so they are able to shop around and secure competitive rates for shippers. They do more than just coordinate shipments, too. 3PLs also help with billing, training, obtaining paperwork from the shippers and ensuring the freight is delivered on time.
Most 3PL providers have access to the latest shipping technologies to help streamline the logistics process. Barcode scanning, RFID labeling, mobile computing devices and analytics software all help 3PLs track freight and ensure on-time delivery.
When you work with a 3PL provider, it becomes an extension of your business. Their resources become your own, including their equipment, personnel, technology and software. When looking for a 3PL provider, make sure the company fits with your organization’s culture. Treat your 3PL provider like you would treat any other employee to ensure the best partnership.
4. Lower Risk
Working with a 3PL provider allows you to build up an efficient, multi-location distribution network with lower risk. It would take a significant amount of your capital to build up a distribution network of the same size.
3PLs offer flexibility and are able to adapt to an organization’s shipping changes. 3PLs are able to scale space, labor and transportation depending on a business’ inventory needs. Many businesses have seasonal demand. When seasons change and demand increases, it is easy to get more warehouse space and freight transportation with a 3PL.
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