In the world of shipping, logistics is everything. Logistics helps with every stage of a shipment, from when it’s picked up, how it’s transported, and what time it’s set to arrive. And it’s not just a single shipment from one company. Logistics helps with all shipments a company handles, allowing it to alter routes and delivery methods used in real-time, ensuring items are picked up and dropped off not only on time but also delivered with the shortest, most efficient route, which saves both time and time money. One phrase often used in the world of product shipping is 3PL. But what is 3PL, and how can it help maximize your own product shipments? Let us show you.
Short for third-party logistics, a third-party is when a company such as yourself outsources its shipping services to an outside service provider. Most companies do not handle their own shipments. While a small number might perform some basic shipments, especially if they are on the smaller side, perform almost all local shipments, or perform shipments as soon as the order is placed for same-day delivery, most companies turn to outside service providers.
Handling your own shipping is a major expense. It essentially requires you to start up a secondary business as there are considerable monetary investment requirements. From the required vehicle purchases and software requirements needed to monitor the movement of your vehicle fleet in real-time, all the way to the annual salaries and benefits of your delivery personnel, this is something few companies want to take on (nor need to). With a third-party logistics service provider, you can focus on what your company does while the shipping company will handle transport.
This is a vital aspect of the supply chain, so you don’t want to turn to just any shipping provider. You need to properly vet the company you work with because, in many ways, they will make or break your connection with a client. If shipments are delayed, lost, or mishandled by the transportation provider, a client will look elsewhere. You already go to great lengths to attract new clients to your business. The last thing you need is to lose clients because of something completely out of your hands.
To better select a 3PL for your own business, it is important to understand the difference in service providers. There are, in general, four varying categories of shipping companies. The first is a standard 3PL service provider. This is a company that picks up shipments, they might offer to the warehouse, and then they will distribute and deliver the items. For these companies, warehousing is usually the company’s main function and not necessarily the logistical element of the business. They pick up, store, and deliver products as necessary, but they rarely rely on in-depth logistical information to improve routes or delivery methods. Because warehousing is such a major staple in the services offered, deliveries might only be made one at a time. If you need an off-site service provider that can house your products and, on occasion, make one-time deliveries, this is the 3PL service provider to consider.
The second kind of 3PL is known as a service developer. This company provides cross-docking services, implements security systems to protect your shipments, and utilizes tracking and tracking software. This will help you follow a package in real-time and know when it is set to arrive and where it was last located based on a vehicle check-in or when the package switched vehicles.
Third, there is a customer adapter service provider. With this kind of 3PL, the customer is, essentially, in complete control of the delivery. The customer dictates when a package is to be delivered and where. This makes up a very small portion of the third-party logistics service providers. It is often for niche, luxury shipments where the customer might need to alter shipping requests (regularly) while the shipment is en route.
Lastly, there is the customer developer 3PL. This is a kind of service provider that will take your shipments and integrate them into a logistical system full of other shipments. Your shipment will be mixed and matched for the best vehicle to ensure the fastest delivery for you and the shortest, most efficient route for the shipping company. You will have real-time fleet updates to track your vehicle, and, when necessary, you may fill up an entire truck based on the size of your shipment.
At 3PL, we can provide you with various forms of logistic shipping. The exact method can vary, depending on if you have a smaller shipment that will be combined with other shipments, or if you need an entire vehicle that can be altered for your shipments based on the deliveries you need (such as if the entire shipment is going to a single location or others). With such a flexible 3PL, we aim to ensure you have the best shipping experience possible.
Logistics is an essential piece for any shipping company’s services. Not only does it help with the shipping company’s ability to perform, but it will enhance your own experience, allowing for shorter delivery times and more accurate up-to-date information on the location of your shipment and the expected arrival time. This data will help both you and the receiver better handle shipments and adjust your own schedules to avoid bottlenecking delivery trucks. An efficiently run delivery service will improve your relationship with customers and assist in boosting company revenue. Here at RJS Logistics, we specialize in working directly with you on all deliveries, regardless of size or destination. If you’re not happy with your current shipping provider, or if you want to know what sets us apart and how we can enhance your delivery experience, give us a call, and we’ll provide you with all the information you need.