Home Business 4 Essential Services Offered by Third Party Logistics Providers

4 Essential Services Offered by Third Party Logistics Providers

by Olufisayo
Third Party Logistics Providers

Running an eCommerce business has its ups and downs. There is nothing like the thrill of knowing that your products have arrived at your customer’s doorstep in one piece. While you can probably handle delivery and shipping by yourself when your company is starting out, the need for a reliable logistics provider arises as your company expands.

You might argue that you have better control of the delivery process while the operations stay under your business, but you have more room for exploration and less for risk and high costs when you find a reliable logistics provider. Think about it.

When you outsource the work to another company, you won’t need to spend as much on delivery and shipping. You can expand your product range, and if there’s a loss, you let them take it on. You can even look into international shipping with a 3PL provider.

You Take the Orders and Let Them Handle the Rest

Third-party logistics providers specialize in outsourced logistics operations for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. Their services also vary from freight storage and management, order fulfillment, and shipping handling. In some cases, 3PL providers may do all of these. Learn more about these services to find out which ones are right for your company.

1. Order fulfillment. This is perhaps the most recognizable service that third-party logistic providers are known for, which deals with processing and delivering orders for eCommerce businesses in particular.

       

Done for both individual and bulk orders, a reliable logistics service provider will promptly update you on the status of your inventory. Many will pick and pack the orders and deliver them to your customers on the same day or within a short amount of time.

Additionally, reverse logistics or returns processing is also a part of fulfillment services, especially for companies that serve the online eCommerce sector. Many logistics service providers will take care of your returns and ensure that your customers are refunded quickly so your operations won’t be hampered by such delays.

2. Warehousing. This mainly deals with the management and storage of goods in a 3PL provider’s warehouse until they are ready for distribution. Stocks are accepted at the facilities, processed, and recorded.

Additionally, many 3PL providers kit and place inserts in certain shipments if needed. If something happens to the warehouse while your products are there, a 3PL will take responsibility for shouldering the cost of any losses or damages.

Most logistics service providers already have an online warehouse management system that updates you (preferably in real-time) of the movement of your stock. When the time comes to ship out any of your inventory in storage, the changes should be logged and visible to you as well.

       

3. Shipping management. Outsourced shipping is another common service that many business owners entrust to logistics service companies. They have the option of drop shipping individual orders directly to the customers or compiling a batch of packages that can be picked up and brought to the logistics facility for delivery. A dependable logistics service provider will ensure that packages are kept safe and arrive promptly from pickup to delivery.

4. Forwarding. Sometimes, a logistics service provider does not have to be the last stop for your inventory. You might be shipping something internationally or your stock is going to another business. Whichever the case may be, having to deal with multiple providers in your supply chain can already be cumbersome enough.

Getting forwarding services from the logistics company will simplify the process because they will handle the shipping and coordination with other businesses in your stead. The company will act as a middleman rather than your primary courier in this case.

Which Ones Are Right for You?

After looking at these services, it could be that you might need one or more of these services from a logistics company. If you’ve already decided to outsource your logistics services, you might also want to consider the kind of relationship you would like to have with your logistics service provider.

The good news is that you have the option to work with a logistics company on a transactional basis if you’re still starting out or looking for the right company to partner with.

       

Once you’ve found a company that you want to work with on a long-term basis, you can tactically outsource your shipping and distribution needs to them. Lastly, you have the option to partner with a logistics service provider on a long-term basis for a more strategic approach to outsourcing.

No matter what kind of outsourcing you decide to go with, working with a 3PL provider will help you cut costs and simplify your shipping process. You get more time to dedicate to other things and get the peace of mind that you deserve.

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