Third-party logistics (3PL) providers are companies to whom other businesses in the supply chain and logistics industry can outsource certain segments of their operations. Whether you need additional help with managing warehousing, order fulfillment or transportation processes, a 3PL has you covered. In this blog, we’ll talk about the differences between these three different types of 3PLs.
Order Fulfillment 3PLs
In today’s world, there are many ways for consumers to order products – online, through social media, through a catalog, in a store, etc. Managing and processing all these different methods of customer orders can be a cumbersome process. A 3PL who specializes in order fulfillment can ensure your customers receive timely and responsive service and accurate orders. Not only do these 3PLs have expertise in the area of order fulfillment, but they have access to special tools and software to help streamline the process.
A 3PL that specializes in warehousing can help a business save money on the costs associated with renting or owning a building, purchasing equipment and hiring labor. In warehousing 3PLs, businesses share space and equipment with similar businesses, thereby, reducing cost and energy use. With their expertise, warehousing 3PLs design a warehouse space that works best for your business and help manage your inventory in a way that helps you operate most efficiently and cost-effectively.
Transportation Management 3PLs
3PLs that specialize in transportation management help businesses ship their product from point A to point B. Finding someone, and more importantly, finding someone you trust to get your product to your customer on time can be a stressful and worrisome process! Transportation 3PLs have expertise in finding and qualifying trustworthy carriers. With their carrier database and proprietary transportation management systems (TMS), transportation 3PLs can save you the time it takes to vet a carrier and will ensure your product is being delivered by a carrier who is known to do a good job of getting products where they need to be on time.
Regardless of whether you outsource all or just one area of your supply chain to a 3PL, a 3PL can ensure scalability and flexibility in your logistics operations to help you grow and operate more efficiently.