3PL or third-party logistics is a phrase that defines outsourcing eCommerce logistic processes like inventory management, warehouse storage and fulfilment. It serves as a service that helps eCommerce merchants to be faster and get more done. This happens because they get access to tools and infrastructure to have their automate retail fulfilment. Also, when you outsource your operational logistics (from warehousing to delivery), you can focus more on the other aspects of growing your business. Here are some benefits of 3PL in supply chain management.
3PL companies and their job
A 3PL company, like the national shipping company of Saudi Arabia, is in charge or arranging freight carriers, be it by sea, air or land, and warehousing, this is done by being in direct contact with service providers. Logistics include the services of transportation, storage, inventory, packaging, supplies and warehousing.
Why should you choose 3PL in supply chain management?
Stores that deal with eCommerce need to offer and supply their customers with fast and affordable shipping. This is important if you want to compete and have your place in the market. However, when it comes to managing and shipping products, this can be a big and cumbersome task. There is quite a number of possible difficulties along the way, and in the end, it can cost you more to try to do it by yourself than to hire professional logistics services.
What services can be included in 3PL?
There is much diversity regarding the types of services that can be included in 3PL. This is one of the benefits of 3PL in supply chain management, you can do business with only one company that will help you with a large number of services. If you go and try to do this by yourself, you will end up juggling the services of more than one company, and that can be really time-consuming. The services that are available are cargo transportation, customs clearance, freight forwarding, cold chain services, packing and crating and warehousing.
Packing, crating and palletizing
The first step when it comes to supply chain management is industrial packing, crating and palletizing. When dealing with a large number of items, this job should be left to industry professionals. It will cost you more to buy all the appliances and materials than to outsource this part of the job as this step always involves large industrial machinery and containers for transportation and storage that are expensive.
A reliable cargo transportation company is important because your customers will want to get their things fast and secure. You wouldn’t want to give this task in the hands of someone unreliable, as in most cases you will be responsible if something goes missing or gets damaged in transport. When these things happen it gives a bad name to your company.
Freight forwarding is maybe the most important thing when it comes to your business success and supply chain management. This method is most regularly used when it comes to international transportation for business and personal purposes.
Freight forwarding is the coordination of transportation of goods from one point to the other. Freight can include air, ocean, rail and road transportation. There are things like storage and shipment of items included in freight forwarding. This should be left to the professionals because it is their job to negotiate and find the best solution for the lowest price.
When dealing with a company with a large number of items, you will need to definitely enlist a kind of storage or warehouse services. Warehouses play an important role in supply chains and getting a warehouse will surely help you grow and establish a strong business and company.
Warehouses and storage units save time and money, they push for the increase in productivity and they reduce the possibility of theft as you get a safe and secure place for storing your items. One of the biggest benefits of 3PL in supply chain management is that the logistic company will help you get the best storage space and services designed for your individual needs. These needs may include climate-controlled environments, special security measures or special conditions for storing hazardous or dangerous goods.
Another important aspect of supply chain management is a fast and easy clearance of customs. Customs clearance is usually a complex and complicated task. It is better to leave it to somebody who knows all the tricks to do it quickly. It is even easier when you are dealing with a company that has its customs licence.
Cold chain services
You need to think about the specific conditions needed for the items that you are dealing with. The first thing is knowing how to properly package the item to it remains undamaged during transportation. Additionally, you need to be careful about the items that need a temperature-controlled environment during the shipping process. For this, you will need to look at temperature-controlled shipping companies. If you are dealing with perishable items this part of the process is unavoidable.
The benefits of 3PL in supply chain management explained
Even though your business started small, as it grows you will have more and more tasks and responsibilities. With the rising trend od eCommerce, this is an act of outsourcing inbound and outbound logistics that has become mandatory. It is best to think ahead of time and gather as much information you possibly can. This way you can make an educated decision regarding your company’s future in the marketplace. The advantages of enlisting the help of the 3PL structure in supply chain management are cost and time savings, low capital commitment and the ability to transfer your focus on the more important aspects of your business.