The Ultimate Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL) For Shippers


It’s no secret that most growing companies experience several challenges and inefficiencies in their supply chain with the increased supply and demand. Inefficiencies in the supply chain often result in customer dissatisfaction and considerable loss. Managing a supply chain more effectively requires time, knowledge, and money –something a 3PL can offer.

In today’s marketplace, 3PLs have gained immense popularity among businesses of all sizes due to the wide range of benefits they offer. Thanks to 3PLs, businesses that were once confined to specific geographic locations now have access to customers worldwide.

There are many reasons why many companies prefer to partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Read on to discover more about third-party logistics (3PL) providers.

What is Third-party logistics (3PL)?

Third-party logistics mainly involves three major parties – the business, the logistics provider, and the shipping carrier. A 3PL provider offers specific logistics services to businesses of all sizes to make their order fulfillment process more efficient and robust.

3PLs provides global logistics services to companies in Houston that offer seamless integration of their services into companies’ inventory storage and transportation procedures. Companies usually hire 3PLs to manage various aspects of supply chain management, such as storing, packaging, and shipping orders.

3PLs storage and transportation assets are usually owned or leased. They utilize them to fulfill the varying business needs of their clients. Handing over the responsibilities of fulfillment logistics to 3PLs saves companies from investing in resources and assets required for order fulfillment and allows them to focus on their core expectancies.

What Services Does a Third-party logistics (3PL) Offer?

A 3PL is capable of scaling and customizing its services based on the unique business needs of its clients. Plus, clients can easily monitor their shipping operations and track their orders from beginning to end. While finalizing a 3PL provider, business owners can outline what services they want to outsource from 3PL providers and what services they will continue to manage in-house. Moreover, 3PL providers can offer additional services to support your business growth when a business grows with time.

Here are some common services offered by 3PL providers :

Freight Forwarding

Expedited Shipping

Inventory Distribution

Picking and Packing

Shipment Tracking

Warehouse Storage

Inventory Management

Reverse Logistics (Returns)

Why Should You Hire a Third-party Logistics (3PL) ?

A professional 3PL provider thoroughly analyzes and monitors your order fulfillment process and highlights the major problems. They take the responsibility of inventory storage, shipping, and distribution on their shoulders, allowing you to focus on the other major areas of your business, such as employee satisfaction, client satisfaction, and budget management.

Here are some most common benefits of partnering with a professional 3PL provider.

Greater Expertise

One of the most significant benefits of hiring 3PLs is their in-depth expertise in the logistics industry. Their vast skills and knowledge help them simplify processes, eliminate inefficiencies, ensure cost savings and make noteworthy changes in the order fulfillment process. Moreover, 3PLs are familiar with the various challenges of the logistics and transportation industry, and they have strong relationships with the suppliers, which greatly benefit companies when they partner with them.

Lowers Costs

When a company hires a 3PL, it saves itself from investing in various resources and assets. It helps them save a significant amount of money on transportation, warehouse infrastructure, labor costs, etc. A 3PL company can offer low shipping rates and help businesses expand their operations into newer markets.

Supports Business Growth

3PL providers offer great support to businesses with their expansion into newer markets. 3PL providers support the growth and expansion of the business in newer markets by handling their logistics and inventory. For instance, if a company wants Air Freight services to Nigeria, 3PL can save money, time, and effort by organizing warehousing operations and labor expansion.

Save Time and Money

Hiring an international shipping company in the USA helps businesses eliminate the need to invest in warehouse space, transportation, and engage in-house employees to carry out logistics processes, allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies. Third-party logistics providers also help companies eliminate the errors in the supply chain process that could be costly and risky.

The Bottom Line

A third-party logistics provider offers equipment, space, workforce, and vast expertise to streamline the order fulfillment process, ensuring more cost savings and improvement in the overall warehousing experience.

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