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Third Party Logistics
The third party logistics, or 3PL industry has been experiencing very steady levels of growth in recent years, and looks set to continue to grow as more companies understand the benefits it can bring. One of the major issues holding companies back is that some perceive 3PL as being an unnecessary added expense and as something they can do cheaper, while in truth, a large percentage of firms would save significant sums of money using a good 3PL service provider.
At its most basic level, 3PL offers logistics services in a company’s shipping operations, generally integrated into their warehousing and transportation procedures. Outsourcing your shipping to a 3PL does not necessarily mean that they deal with everything, as each company can choose anything from a single, to a complete bundle of options, which best meet their requirements.
3PL services do not only involve as some think, simply the shipping of a product, but can encompass a wide range of options, covering everything from product assembly and packaging, through warehousing, and integration into your website as well. An experienced 3PL company has a wide range of knowledge and experience in all aspects of logistics, and an array of services which can spot options and provide solutions, for every need that a company might have. As an example, many companies have products that are to some degree or another seasonal in terms of demand, which can make the costs of warehousing year round, per product, cost inefficient. When using a 3PL firm, you are only paying for the space you are using at any given point in time, providing dramatic savings not having to pay for an entire facility, which may be half empty much of the year.
Scalability and Reach
One of the major benefits from using a 3PL provider is the sudden ability to not only be highly flexible with inventory, for busy times of year, or with promotional offerings, but also the potential expansion to markets much further afield than had been previously possible. Outsourcing the warehousing, packing and delivery, frees up a company’s time for more productive measures, such as sales and marketing, or focusing on other activities central to its growth.
A package being delivered by a good 3PL firm will have used an online system to automatically select the most efficient packing and transport option, to meet the size, weight and delivery timing requirements. This ensures that your customer receives a very professional looking parcel, with a very swift delivery. Selecting 3PL from TIFS or other top providers can get your parcels delivered on time, every time, at a much lower cost than a normal company can manage. While you have your area of specialisation, they have theirs too, which is in logistics, and due to their size can command much better rates and service for delivery. Additionally, their dispatch software not only books and tracks every delivery, it also provides automatic feedback to you, enabling your company to have a much improved and up to the minute data on levels of inventory.
One of the key benefits of 3PL, is its degree of flexibility, which can offer anything from a single, to a complete array of services. Any company can outsource any, or all of its logistics, or any combination in the middle, offering clearly identifiable cost and efficiency savings, with each level of service being tailor-made for each customer.