As your business thrives and offers more products and services, you’ll eventually determine whether or not you’ll outsource shipping and fulfillment operations.
Most will turn to third-party logistics (3PL) providers to meet customers’ demands. However, it’s worth noting that not all 3PLs are the same. Not all 3PLs have the same capabilities and services.
This post will tackle the benefits of 3PLs for packaging operations. But first, here are the basics:
What is a Third-Party Logistics (3PLs)?
Third-party logistics, also known as 3PL, is the service that a business or organization offers wherein some or all of its logistics systems are outsourced. This outsourcing will cover everything from the warehousing up until the delivery. It allows the organization to focus on other more crucial parts of their business.
Usually, 3PL companies offer everything under the logistics umbrella. It includes transportation, warehousing, picking up, packing, forecasting inventory, order fulfillment, packaging, and freight forwarding.
Working with a 3PL provider should be treated as a partnership instead of a transactional relationship.
3PLs and Packaging
The right 3PL will do the right packing analysis and know the best packing materials to use, shipping box sizes, and the overall shipment strategy to cut costs.
Here are some common packing materials:
- Bubble mailers
- Packing tape
- Shipping boxes
To maximize shipping rates, air should be removed as much possible. Otherwise, you’ll only be paying for air. The shipment box should be cut down, or there should be a strategy that allows stacking items in freight. This is crucial and gives the best rates.
The 3PL works closely with the seller in the initial setup process, looking for ways to pack it in the most presentable and cost-effective manner. 3PLs must also have the necessary technologies and systems, ensuring orders are correct and shipped on time, especially during peak seasons. There should be clear business rules on how to pack different orders to be fulfilled quickly and accurately.
Advantages of 3PLs for Packaging Operations
Here are the benefits of 3PLs for your packing operations:
1. Drive cost savings
A 3PL logistics firm specializes in logistics and has a more extensive network with the supply chain function of your company.
They’ll usually have exclusive relationships within the logistics sector and, therefore, have more influence on negotiations. Aside from that, the provider will be offering more volume discounts. All of these factors help minimize the overhead costs. Check out how dropshipping works.
Choosing an excellent 3PL supply chain management firm can save a large sum of your money on infrastructure investment since it can offer warehouse space, transportation, tracking technology, and so on, which drives cost savings.
Depending on the services needed, a great 3PL provider scales a company’s space, labor, and transportation. Manufacturers, suppliers, and other producers can effectively grow new territories with less hassle on their part.
Furthermore, 3PLs are also tailored for logistics functions, in which you might have less experience. It also offers a clear path for enhanced business growth.
3. Provide a better experience for your customers
Because of “The Amazon Effect,” customers expect to have the next or even same-day delivery standard.
Tapping to a 3PL provider will help you give your customers faster delivery times since you can use a 3PL’s more efficient and established distribution network.
Having a one size fits all approach in your packing is no longer viable. 3PLs are set up to implement and manage your packing operations. It allows your products to be customized and modified during the final stages before transporting them to customers.
Many companies are often under pressure to explore different packaging assortments, special sizes, and other product customization to support your in-store promotions and brand differentiation.
It’s also essential that you integrate any last-minute changes or reconfigurations that might come when a product is stored and then prepared to ship.
5. Business growth and market expansion
Another essential role of third-party logistics is driving business growth by giving you access to markets that you don’t usually have an established presence yet.
By doing so, you’ll be able to manage your inventory in a new market without spending cash on equipment, labor, and warehousing. You’ll also be saving a lot of effort from having to learn the logistical nuances of a new market.
6. Focus on core competencies
Outsourcing your logistics will give you the leeway to focus your attention on the core competencies of your business instead of getting involved in managing non-core but critical functions.
As a result, you’ll reap the benefits of logistical expertise without using internal resources.
7. Get hold of international logistics
As mentioned in the previous point, one thing that 3PLs can provide is knowledge and expertise in international logistics. Do you plan on expanding? Do you have enough time to ensure that you have the proper duties, customs, and documentation for your products?
Again, this is something that a 3PL provider can take care of for you. You’ll have the flexibility to expand to new markets without risking a lot of investment in local warehousing and your staff.
Over to You
So, there you have it. Those are just some of the many benefits of using a 3PL provider. Providers like these are already experts and professionals in their field, which gives you the flexibility of development and expansion in certain areas or fields you previously thought had already closed.
So, when choosing a 3PL provider you want to partner with, you need to make sure that the 3PL provider will have good financial stability and document your requirements on the supply chain along with expected results. Good luck!
About the author
Andi Croft is a freelance writer whose main interests are topics related to business, technology, and travel. This is brought about by her passion about going around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, and bringing along with her the latest tech to enhance her adventures.