Your logistics provider is up to the challenge! No matter what that is.
Your 3PL logistics provider can do just about anything. When they started out, 3PLs handled basic logistics functions. As customers came to realize the provider of using a third-party logistics provider, they stated looking to offload more tasks to their 3PL provider, and the industry responded. Today’s 3PL companies can handle just about anything from accepting shipments of parts, assembling final products, packaging them and getting them to customers or retail locations.
Warehousing, Distribution and Transportation
Logistics still includes the fundamentals. 3PL companies usually offer a range of warehousing options, including both highly-flexible public warehousing and more stable contract warehousing options. They can also handle managing your transportation for you, Transportation management goes beyond just sending out trucks, though. A logistics provider can handle truckload, flatbed and even smaller LTL shipments for you. In addition, they can handle intermodal transportation, whether you need to take advantage of lower-cost rail, faster air cargo, or use shipping for imports. Products that get imported, or that are destined for export, can clear customs through the Foreign Trade Zones managed by some 3PL providers, as well. This helps you delay paying duty and ship your projects more quickly and nimbly.
Storing and transporting bulk product is just a small part of what a 3PL service provider can do. It can also take over your company’s fulfillment duties or work in lock step with your existing fulfillment teams. Letting the 3PL company handle picking and pulling products for clients saves you from the expense of bulk-shipping products to your own fulfillment centers, then using your own staff for picking, pulling, packaging and shipping. Third party fulfillment services let you send out more packages with less staff in less time.
Fulfillment can work in reverse, as well. A reverse logistics provider can handle every aspect of your company’s return process. It can efficiently and cost-effectively accept product from both on-line and traditional retail channels to help your company manage its inventory of returned items and extract as much revenue from it as possible while minimizing handling costs.
Beyond the Basics: Packaging
One example of how a 3PL logistics provider can go outside the box of traditional logistics is in the field of packaging. Some providers have the capability to take bulk product and either turn it into a store-ready item or repackage it for shipment directly to end users. This process can involve assembling products as them come in, personalizing them or affixing special labels.
Doing this at the warehouse level lets you eliminate the bulk, weight and expense of continually shipping packaged product while also ensuring that product packaging is exposed to as little damage-causing handling as possible. Some 3PL companies can even handle assembling store ready displays so that workers in your retail channel can simply unbox the shipment and start selling.
To learn more about how a full-service 3PL logistics provider can help your company operate more quickly at lower cost, contact Clark Logistic Services. We offer a full range of 3PL services, including fulfillment and packaging, and can design a solution for your company’s logistics challenges.