Third Party Logistics (3PL) warehousing refers to the task of assuming management responsibility of someone else’s stock. It’s a cost effective way for large, as well as small, manufacturers and wholesalers to access the latest in warehousing expertise, technology, and facilities. A 3PL warehouse takes care of a range of areas including stock inventory, order fulfilment, and distribution, all of which can be tailored to suit a customer’s needs.
The third party logistics model has been in use since the 70s and 80s, when manufacturers and wholesalers started outsourcing logistical services to save on labour, space, and costs. Over time these logistical services expanded to cover specific commodities, warehousing, and transportation services, evolving into what we now know today as “3PL”. Nowadays 3PL companies can provide logistical services to its customers for part, or all of their supply chain functions. These services can be provided separately or integrated, and are customised to the client’s needs.
Whether dealing with palletised or non-palletised stock; short or long term storage; part or full logistical support, if you offer any of the below services for other companies, you can be considered a 3PL provider:
With so many different 3PL providers out there, becoming a frontrunner in the field is paramount to success. Manufacturers and wholesalers often don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to adapt their warehousing facilities, in order to meet their business needs. That’s when they need you. They need your services to fill in the gaps. To ensure you remain competitive in an ever-changing market, you would be wise to focus on the following areas of your 3PL warehouse:
All logistics providers have their strengths and weaknesses. However to be a first-rate 3PL provider, you need to offer a first-class integrated outsourced logistics solution. You have the logistical knowledge and expertise to guide producers and wholesalers. They rely on you to make sure your facilities and services are designed to reflect your place as a leader in the industry. Or, at the very least, someone they can rely on. By incorporating the focus areas in your business plan, you can ensure that you won’t let them down.