3PL is the abbreviated version of Third Party Logistics and originally started out as a military term.
Now 3PL refers to companies who offer a comprehensive and wide range of outsourced services for pretty much all aspects of your supply chain.
When I started my career in logistics 3PLs simply looked after your products and ensured that they got to all the right places at the right time.
Competition, advances in technology, increasingly intricate and demanding supply chain requirements, the e-commerce boom and global growth have seen the range of services offered by 3PLs increase dramatically.
3PLs are now strategic partners who add serious expertise and logistics proficiency to your business.
You can expect your 3PL to define your logistics, take bold steps to improve your supply chain, manage costs and generate ideas for improvement.
Partnering with the right 3PL is a key component in your company’s success.
Let’s take a look in more detail at the services 3PLs provide.
- Basic functions of store, pick, pack and ship
- E-commerce order fulfillment
- Returns processing
- Gift design and packing
- Product customisation and rework
- Sourcing packaging
- Pallet deliveries
- Parcel delivers
- Container shipments
- Reverse logistics
- EDI order receipt and processing
- Web and cloud based order communication
- Advanced warehouse management systems with real time RF control
- Extensive reporting capabilities
- Access to live stock data
- Designated telephone number for your customers
- Trained customer service agents available to support your brand
- Supply chain consultancy
What are the benefits of working with a 3PL?
You can expect a move to a 3PL to result in a reduction of current costs. 3PLs have a scale advantage that means they can access much better rates than you as an individual company.
The same economies of scale will mean that 3PLs will manage and reduce future costs.
The expertise and know-how of 3PLs will improve customer satisfaction. Their knowledge of supply chains result in on time deliveries presented in line with retailer requirements. Their infrastructure and network allows them to respond quickly and resolve problems fast.
If your growth plans involve exporting then choosing a 3PL with global expertise can provide your company with the tools to achieve your goal.
3PLs can save you a whole lot of hassle and risk associated with running your own logistics. You can avoid additional salaries, the administration of holiday pay and stake holder pensions, work place risk assessments and environmental issues.
If you are launching a business 3PLs can enable start-up. By outsourcing logistics you instantly acquire a large logistics infrastructure that allows you to compete with the more established brands. The use of a 3PL also frees you to focus on sales and growth safe in the knowledge you have the ability to respond to any opportunity that comes your way.
Behind every successful brand is an excellent 3PL.
Have you found your perfect logistics partner yet?