WESTHUB LOGISTICS: E-COMMERCE AND 3PL
The pandemic brought about change for everyone and every business. We’ve all felt the effects of Covid-19. The human cost has been unimaginable. Businesses either closed or adapted to the new normal. Yet, when it comes to commerce, particularly e-commerce, change is not a negative when we view it as opportunity. Last year inspired many e-commerce companies to open or expand. Goods at the tips of our fingers with a delivery of 1–2 days out has changed the expectations of shoppers. The pandemic put e-commerce at the forefront of retail, with consumers spending more than $861 billion online via U.S. merchants, an increase of 44%, the highest annual U.S. e-commerce growth according to Digital Commerce 360.
So what does that mean for these growing businesses? If this applies to you, what is the next step? As your business grows, you may anticipate running out of space. That’s where a third-party logistics company—otherwise known as 3PL—comes in. 3PL is the use of a third-party business to outsource part of your company’s logistics and supply chain services. A new or growing business may need services like warehousing, distribution and fulfillment. Outsourcing to a 3PL will help that business focus on core competencies. While logistics can be a complicated world, doing it right means allowing a 3PL to coordinate in a series of complex, overlapping processes with a wide range of solutions for your company’s operation.
Third-party logistics solutions
A 3PL provider is a specialist company that provides a range of distribution, transportation, picking and packing, inventory forecasting, storage, and fulfillment services. Third-party logistic providers allow you to outsource some or all of your supply chain and logistics operations. Businesses that outsource these types of operations to 3PL companies rely on the 3PL provider to offer end-to-end management of specific services. 3PL providers are a vital part of supply chain management and they are used by many businesses all around.
Benefits of third-party logistics
Logistics and shipping operations are an essential part of any business. When a company grows the complexity and scope of these important supply chain steps can become overwhelming. More and more companies are opting to outsource their logistics. The benefits of working with a 3PL provider can offer many advantages. Outsourcing allows you to spend more time focusing on other aspects of your business, including sales, marketing, customer service and product development. Working with a 3PL can make aspects of your business more efficient and cost effective.
Cost savings from 3PL services
Services from a third-party company can seem expensive at a first glance, but justify those costs by maximizing value of the logistical infrastructures they have in place. This can save you money in the long run by cutting out inefficient processes. 3PL providers are well equipped to handle any surprises or hurdles when moving products or other items along a supply chain. Meanwhile, in-house logistics requires your company to devote your own resources and energy to counter any issues. In the end, using a 3PL can lower any unforeseen expenses based on their expertise in logistics. A third-party logistics company will be able to optimize your inventory and routing management with advanced systems. Consolidating your shipments with those of the 3PL provider’s other clients benefits everyone. The 3PL company can coordinate the where and when of each item, bundling products and materials with similar timelines and destinations. Your business no longer needs to coordinate an entire route for only a few items to be shipped; the cost is now shared among multiple businesses—saving you money!
Scaling your business
A main reason for using a 3PL is to help your company grow. The logistical infrastructure a 3PL provider offers will let a company scale the footprint of its fulfillment and distribution with ease. There is no need to dedicate your company’s time and resources to setting up your own distribution channels, locating and securing new warehouses and storage facilities, and hiring and training new workers to handle the influx of new shipments. It’s simpler to hire a company that has all these things in place.
Order fulfillment process
One main responsibility of a 3PL is order management, fulfillment and distribution. As part of an order fulfillment service, a 3PL provider receives requests for goods from their clients, manages the inventory, and alerts clients when stock levels are low. Pick and pack is a type of service recognized as a process of gathering individual components of an order, like from a master carton. This part is called picking. Then, individual items are packed into one or more boxes. This typically takes space and materials plus the cost of shipping. Order fulfillment and picking and packing can happen between different segments of the supply chain, as a part of e-commerce or a drop shipping order, for onward distribution to 3PL customers or other logistics providers, or as part of retail or other commercial services.
Why use Westhub Logistics services?
We understand we’re an extension of your brand, and that every action we take is a representation of your company. That is why we consider every client a partnership. At Westhub Logistics, our comprehensive range of services can be personalized to your company’s individualized needs. Our experienced team is ready to answer any questions you have. Schedule a consultation with us today!