For many companies, it can be difficult to update their supply chains as business models change and customers make new demands. Bringing in an expert third party logistics (3PL) can be a great way for companies to update their supply chains and LTL transportation strategies for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
1. Fluctuating product.
For companies whose warehouses tend to grow and shrink throughout the quarter, operating distribution centres with fixed-costs can be a pain. Outsourcing to a 3PL with their own distribution centres can be a great way to get the most mileage for each dollar spent on warehousing and staffing. The 3PL will take care of logistics and transportation, right through to final delivery out to your customers and can even put flexible solutions in place to integrate larger volume LTL shipments with regularly scheduled moves between terminal locations so that shipping LTL to retail stores (or to your end customers) is as efficient as possible.
2. Cross-country (or international) cooperation.
For companies who manufacture or import from Asia, there's a good chance their product arrives at the Port of Los Angeles, as it's easier to import goods to LA and ship west to east than it is to bring shipments through the Panama canal and distribute from Port of New York and New Jersey. With the strict compliances required by big-box stores, including the request that vendors hold stock until customers needed it for replenishment, a 3PL is an ideal choice for many companies that import into a different geographic area than where they are based. A 3PL can take care of cross border transit into Canada, distribution to customers by making companies' supply chains leaner and more cost-effective.
3. In case of emergency.
A 3PL has the flexibility to help transport delayed shipments to vendors on time or on tight schedules, and can help devise workarounds for getting product delivered even in the case of a strike or port backup as happened in the Port of New York and New Jersey in summer of 2013. From getting goods from containers to trucks within a short window, to helping you to ship to Canada from the US and navigate the customs process a good 3PL has the flexibility and versatility to keep a client's distribution chain lean and quick to adapt.
Using a 3PL to refashion your supply chain can not only position you for success today, but can keep your company nimble in a increasingly competitive landscape. 3PLs can help relieve pressure so that you can take on plans for growth, help you painlessly deal with worst-case scenarios for last minute delivery and can assist with national and international product distribution so you can focus on your core business.