Third party logistics normally involves a lot of work ranging from integrated operations, warehousing to also transportation which at times can be customized to meet the client’s wants and needs. Third party logistics isn’t a fairly new phenomena, it kind of originated in the early 80s and 90s when companies begun outsourcing.
Things to think about when looking for a 3pl company
There are a variety of factors one needs to consider before they look for a logistics company that can cater well to their logistics needs and wants. One of the first things one should consider is the type of product they want to transport; if the product is highly perishable? Does it require dry storage or temperature controlled storage also one should consider of the product will require extra security. One also needs to consider the 3pl warehousing facilities. A 3pl warehouse may not be in good shape and cause your goods to go bad.
One also should consider the mode of transportation. Is the transportation to be done by air, sea or land? Will it need a container to be transported? These are just some of the few nitty gritty details that one needs to consider in the transportation aspects of third party logistics.
We all know that computers have taken over and there exists third party logistics software. In fact there a lot of third party logistics software out there. The amount of sophistication in each software varies a lot. Also the pricing may vary so it’s often best to try and do some basic research before just hiring any third party logistic firm. Some may have excellent service but have software that is really outdated and may lead to some errors. It’s often best to just do some basic research on a firm’s track record in order to make well informed choices.
Benefits of using a 3PL firm
- First of all using a 3pl companyallows your company to focus on what is more important to you and enhance your productivity. A third party logistics firm takes care of your supply chain troubles and lets you focus on more important tasks at hand.
- 3pl logistics companies may also offer your respective company or firm more services than your company itself could ever afford to give themselves. This offers you with more flexibility and the ability to reach other geographical areas than you could previously fathom.
- 3pl companies also saves you the money. It’s more expensive to have your own warehouses and transportation facilities than it is to have a third party logistic company or firm to handle your goods for you. A 3pl basically lowers the costs by taking care of your logistics so you don’t have to have your own facilities such as warehouses and such.
- A 3pl saves you on time and does the logistics more efficiently for it’s their area of expertise. A 3pl company possess the knowledge and expertise to take care of the job very well. It will save you on costs and time.
Third party logistics has its own pros but at times it can have some terrible cons. Sometimes one may hire the wrong company and this may lead to big losses due to things such as damaged property, lost property etc. The client is also subjected to loss of control once the client has released their merchandise to the 3pl providers they have no control. It’s often best for clients to ensure they have good communication with the 3pl companies in order to ensure the well-being of their goods.