Over the past few years, the world of shipping has been revolutionised by third-party logistics. A third-party logistics provider (or a 3PL) is something that can help your business to stay lean and organised, while still delivering the kind of modern logistics that your clients, customers and suppliers expect. This might mean consistent, affordable next-day delivery, or it might mean same-day delivery.
Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of using a service of this kind.
Since you’re entrusting your logistics to an outside party, you’ll avoid the responsibility of having to handle them in-house. This means that you’ll be able to more easily scale your warehousing, labour, and transportation as your business grows over time. Moreover, you’ll be able to expand things and reign them in, according to seasonal demand.
Saving time and money
Third-party logistics tends to make for greater efficiency and productivity. You’ll be able to focus on your core competencies while leaving all of the logistics to an organisation that specialises in logistics.
Your 3PL might also be able to act as a consultant, drawing your attention to systemic errors and inefficiencies in your supply chain, and allowing you to anticipate broader trends in the industry. As ever, by outsourcing to a specialist, you’ll benefit from a degree of expertise that might otherwise have lacked.
If you’re a new brand that wants to be able to instantaneously compete with the more established ones, then the involvement of a third-party logistics provider will help you to level the playing field.
In the world of eCommerce, standing still is rarely a good idea. It’s a fiercely competitive marketplace, where technological change can be vast and rapid. A third-party logistics provider will allow you to anticipate these changes and adapt ahead of time, ensuring that you’re always at the cutting edge of industry best practices.
For example, you might be looking to segment your offering into multiple channels, allowing your customers to approach you using the channel they prefer. You’ll be able to target the channels that are most important to your customers and offer things like subscription-based shipping, with multiple different speeds.
Then there are new technologies looming on the horizon, whose impact hasn’t yet been felt. Order-picking, warehousing robots, and fleet-tracking technology are all in their infancy – but over the next decade, they’re likely to mature. Entrusting your logistics to a third-party provider will help to ensure that you don’t get left behind.
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