A 3PL (also known as third-party logistics) is a way to outsource various aspects of your business's supply management such as warehousing, inventory management, transportation, and order fulfillment. Partnering with a 3PL allows your company to focus on other parts of running the business, all while the 3PL handles the difficult parts of storing and moving your products. A 3PL provider can help your company manage fluctuations in demand, test new markets, and control inventory among other logistics services. In this article, we'll highlight how a 3PL benefits your business.
How Do I Choose the Right 3PL?
Choosing the right 3PL partner depends on the type of services your company wants to outsource. There are a number of 3PL features that include warehousing, transportation, inventory management, and distribution. Each feature specializes in an individual aspects of supply chain management. For example, a warehouse may handle only the storage and shipping of your product. Inventory management would be responsible for inventory accuracy, demand planning, and quality control. A 3PL taking over these small parts allows you to focus on other business demands like sales, marketing, and product development. To see what factors you should consider when choosing a 3PL, read our full check list here.
Why Choose a 3PL?
There are many reasons you might choose to work with a 3PL partner. First, it could be to mitigate the risk of fluctuations in demand. A warehousing partner would be able to respond better to expansion and contraction of storage needs based on seasonal or market-driven demand changes. In addition, 3PL providers are experts in supply chain management. They may have access to established international shipping channels or the best shipping rates with the most reliable carriers. In a vast majority of cases, a 3PL provider can create an optimized supply chain for your business. With their expert help, they'll improve the overall speed and efficiency of your business.
Some other things to consider when thinking about working with a 3PL provider are:
- How much control of your product are you willing to relinquish? When you work with a 3PL provider, your product will be out of your direct control for some portion of its supply chain cycle; however, 3PL's speak to their customers often. You can be in as much contact as you need to be.
- Once the initial hurdles are made, your order fulfillment will become a much faster process. Port City Logistics offers same-day shipping for many of the products we warehouse.
- While overhead costs may seem expensive, the long term savings will benefit your business. Each month, you'll begin to see savings build up as your supply chain becomes increasingly optimized.
- As your company grows, a 3PL can flex or scale to accommodate your needs. A 3PL can use its resources to make the appropriate changes to your logistics model. This allows for a business to continuously grow without the stress of added responsibilities.
Contact Port City Logistics
When your business needs to optimize its supply chain, Port City Logistics is the perfect partner. Our experienced staff has created numerous connections that will revolutionize the way your business sends and receives important supplies. Your products, materials, or goods will get to your business faster and often cheaper than ever before. If your supply chain needs optimization, contact Port City Logistics and learn what we can do for you.