Third-party logistics solutions, sometimes known as 3PL, is a service allowing businesses to outsource operational logistics from warehousing all the way through to delivery. It frees up time, so that companies can focus resources and creativity on activities that are more meaningful to growing the brand, such as sales, marketing and product development.
The breadth of outsourced operational logistics services can vary, but a full service would usually include all parts of the logistics supply chain: transportation, warehousing, picking and packing, inventory forecasting, order fulfilment, packaging and freight forwarding.
There are many compelling reasons why a brand might choose to appoint a third-party logistics partner, and here we take a look at some of these considerations.
Flexibility to scale up
Depending on your sector, your business might experience considerable fluctuations in product demand throughout the year (our recent blog looking at how the right logistics service can meet fast-growing demand has further insight). Allowing a logistics service provider to take care of fulfilment means you can easily and effectively manage peaks and troughs to meet demand. This means you don’t have to hire extra staff during busy times – we’ve got it covered.
Third-party logistics providers have strong relationships with freight companies working on behalf of multiple customers and can therefore leverage their position with carriers to negotiate pricing based on volume and order frequency.
Sprint Logistics offers a complete range of freight forwarding services that are smart, cost-effective, and sustainable. With our network of experienced professionals and strong global shipping relations, we can offer the flexibility to adapt our forwarding units to your needs. You can then choose to invest savings in areas that will help you grow and develop your brand.
Cost-effective storage solutions
Warehousing and distribution management are essential components of any supply chain management system. Outsourcing logistics to a specialist third party provider offers a cost-effective solution as you don’t need to maintain your own warehouse or hire staff. Opting for a logistics company that provides you with full visibility and inventory forecasting can help you save money on inventory holding costs.
Furthermore, you have the opportunity to test new markets more easily than if you were handling your own logistics. Working with a logistics partner, you can have access to their international warehousing and distribution networks without needing to commit heavy investments to setting up your own.
Meeting increasing customer expectations
Next day delivery has become something that consumers now expect as standard, and these higher expectations are of course echoed through B2B markets. To stand out amongst increasing competition, offering fast delivery and shipping is really no longer optional.
With their wide warehousing and distribution networks, 3PL providers have the capacity to process orders quickly and offer a variety of shipping options easily, regardless of where an order is being sent to.
Expertise – on both logistics and customs
If you’ve just launched your business and are organising logistics in-house, you should prepare for a period of learning through trial and error, as different parts of the chain – fulfilment, warehousing and shipping – come with their own challenges.
If you choose to outsource logistics, you know that your business will be in safe hands; a specialist logistics partner can really make a difference.
For example, 3PL firms can deal with all the paperwork and fees on your behalf that are required if you’re selling internationally. This includes any issues with documentation, customs and duties that you’re faced with when shipping across borders. Logistics providers are well-versed on the details, and this will help you avoid delays with shipments that can become costly if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.
Even with the most experienced businesses, unforeseen circumstances can sometimes cause delays. However, if you’re working with a third-party logistics provider, you won’t need to panic. Your logistics partner will be responsible for making alternate arrangements to fulfil your orders as quickly as possible. It also means you’ll be protected in the event of any damage or loss of goods.
Is it time to outsource your logistics?
Logistics is key for many businesses. So, it’s crucial you look for a company such as Sprint Logistics – one that offers your business real-time visibility of your inventory and order status, allowing you to remain in control of this important function.
Sprint Logistics is a global logistics company providing worldwide fulfilment services, distribution, storage, mass mailing, supply chain management, shipping and online stock control. With our extensive distribution network covering over 200 countries, we aim to be the best provider of third-party logistics to local and international clients.
To find out how Sprint Logistics can help your business, get in touch today.