Third-party logistics (3PLs) is the outsourcing of your business’s supply chain operations and logistics to get the products to the consumer as efficiently and quickly as possible. Most 3PL service providers have been dealing with logistics for a long time, so they are experts and know how to make a seller’s process more manageable, more cost-effective, and faster.
Types of 3PLs
Third-party logistics can provide many services; however, some may offer services that others do not. Sometimes a 3PL will specialize in a certain area, such as storing or shipping services, instead of offering all services. The different types of 3PLs include transportation, warehousing, fulfillment and distribution, and financial and information.
Transportation services that 3PLs focus on the inventory and shipments that go from the manufacturer to your company warehouse or your company to the consumers. These services involve the transport of shipments between countries by freight forwarders and smaller parcel shipments.
Warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution are some of the most common services provided by a 3PL. This type of 3PL handles all of a company’s warehousing and fulfillment needs. This type of 3PL usually manages transportation on the seller’s part, the choosing of a shipper, manages the shipper and company relationship, and optimizes shipping strategies.
Larger companies in the eCommerce arena generally use financial and information 3PLs. These 3PLs can provide accounting, freight forwarding, inventory tracking, management, cost control, and other services.
What are the Root Services Provided by 3PLs?
The services that a 3PL provides can vary depending on the specific 3PL. However, there are still core services that most 3PLs provide. The first root service is receiving, and the warehouse of a 3PL can be used to receive and store your company’s inventory.
Each 3PL typically has its processes and warehouse management software to simplify the fulfillment process. Ranger3PL has 16 warehouse facilities to meet the needs of your company’s inventory with customized order fulfillment, materials management, inventory management, and e-commerce distribution.
Picking is a service that is needed when a customer places an order. The 3PL’s fulfillment process starts here. The order is submitted, sent to the warehouse where the inventory is, and is picked from the storage. Orders can vary in size, pick type, and intricacy.
Packing is the next step after picking, and this is when the order is prepared for shipment. A good 3PL will work with your company to determine the best way to package each order. The 3PL must have up-to-date technology to ship at scale and enable the orders to be fulfilled efficiently and accurately.
Shipping is considered an expensive and intricate part of the fulfillment process. Still, a seasoned 3PL should be able to have a shipping strategy that is cost-efficient, fast, and provides a solid customer experience upon receiving their order.
Returns are another core service provided by third-party logistics, and the process of receiving returned products and archiving the receipt must be established. In addition, experienced 3PLs should have rules established with your company to ensure that returned orders are dealt with in accordance with what you want.
How Does a 3PL Help Your Business?
There are several benefits to outsourcing supply chain operations and logistics through a 3PL. The top and most obvious benefits are the fulfillment and order shipment with efficiency. Using a 3PL allows business owners not to spend large amounts of capital on their fulfillment needs.
3PLs can offer better rates from vendors, material and shipping services, and labor and building costs. This allows you to save money in areas you wouldn’t have considered if you managed the process yourself.
Outsourcing through a 3PL also eliminates the need to add another swath of employees who need managing. 3PLs facilitate growth in businesses run from home. A 3PL’s entire existence surrounds the complexity of logistics and fulfillment, so there is no training or management needed on your part.
As your business grows, it’s no surprise that fulfillment and logistics become more and more complicated. The expertise of a 3PL enables you to grow at scale and not need to worry about keeping up with the complexities of dealing with day-to-day problem-solving.
Handing the process over to a 3PL also allows business owners to spend more time on passions. This can be life-enriching and possibly lead to the passion turning into another way to make money.
Working with Ranger3PL
Ranger3PL offers professional and customer solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner. Serving various industries, Ranger3PL has committed to providing outstanding customer service and professionalism.
We provide a number of logistics services, including warehousing inventory management, fulfillment, final mile logistics, transportation for shipping, and delivery. We work to provide a custom-tailored solution to your business. When working with Ranger3PL, you get all the services you need from just one vendor. We serve your needs in a region of the Midwest that allows for quick and efficient distribution.
At Ranger3PL, we work to provide advanced functions and solutions you need. We work to understand your business, establish a way to reach each requirement needed, determine specific industry regulatory concerns and share our expert advice to develop a plan that can take your supply chain performance up a few levels to help your overall business growth.