When it comes to 3rd party logistics and fulfillment, all that matters is that at the end of the day, you, the consumer, get your package handed to you. But, have you ever wondered what the process might be for that neatly tied up parcel to make it all the way to your doorstep? What kind of wonders of the world that package has seen on its way to you.
In this blog post, we will be discussing what kind of journey a package can be routed through, in the context of warehousing logistics outsourcing shipping service.
Before diving into the ways in which a package is transported, let’s define a couple important concepts that we will be referring back to.
Warehousing Logistics: Nearing Final Destination
The first term that we should have a deeper understanding of is “warehousing logistics.”
The supply chain ensures that a product moves from its humble beginnings, as raw materials, to the consumer as a complete good. However, the movement of an object exclusively within the storage facility that houses it before it is shipped to its final destination is a stage of the supply chain process referred to as “warehouse logistics.”
Warehouse logistics is a crucial component of the supply chain management process. It involves the efficient planning, coordination, and execution of activities related to the storage, handling, and movement of goods within warehouses or distribution centers. The goal of warehousing logistics is to enhance the flow of goods through warehouses to ensure timely and accurate order fulfillment, minimize costs, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency.
Effective warehousing logistics can have a significant impact on the overall supply chain performance. By optimizing storage, movement, and order fulfillment processes within warehouses, businesses can reduce operational costs, improve order accuracy, enhance customer satisfaction, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
The Strategy of Outsourcing Shipping Services
The second hot topic that should be defined before we dive into logistics and transportation is the concept of “outsourcing shipping services.
Outsourcing Shipping Services goes hand in hand with 3PL services such as the service provided by Westhub Logistics.
Outsourcing shipping services is a business strategy where a company delegates the management of its transportation and shipping operations to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. This means that instead of handling all aspects of shipping in-house, the company contracts with an external partner to handle various transportation-related tasks. This arrangement is a key component of third-party logistics (3PL) and plays a significant role in supply chain management.
In a real-world example of putting the concept of outsourcing shipping services into practice, An ecommerce shop owner might sell a product such as a sweatshirt. However, just because they sell the sweatshirt does not mean that they are the ones handling the shipping aspect of the sale. Though you do purchase the sweatshirt on this company’s website, in the realm of outsourcing shipping services, the product might be shipped by its original distributor that makes the item in order to cut down on time and expense. This, in a nutshell, is the act of outsourcing shipping services.
Transportation Logistics ‘Carries’ the Supply Chain
Now that we have defined the importance of warehouse logistics and outsourcing shipping services we can get into the real meat of this blog post: the transportation and logistics of shipping goods from start to finish.
To put it simply, logistics and transportation are integral components of the supply chain, playing a crucial role in ensuring the efficient movement of goods from manufacturers or suppliers to consumers. These elements are essential for meeting customer demands, minimizing costs, and optimizing overall supply chain performance.
Some key components of the logistics and transportation system include: warehousing logistics, inventory management, risk management, transportation models, outsourcing shipping services and much much more.
This is the practice of keeping inventory at a level at which it meets demand. If an item rises in popularity and the consumer establishes a demand for this item, it is the job of “inventory management” to ensure that the supply meets the demand.
Maintaining the right amount of inventory is a science, and it is essential to balance supply and demand and to keep the supply chain running as a whole. Effective inventory management practices help minimize excess stock while ensuring products are always in stock to meet customer orders. Warehousing logistics plays an important part in inventory management, and the two go hand in hand.
There are inherent risks in logistics and transportation, such as delays, damage to goods, theft, and natural disasters. If a package has to drive from Tallahassee all the way to Arkansas, sometimes, there might be a few bumps in the road.
A real life example of risk management might be that there is an issue with the warehouse logistics process. Items can be miscounted or lost, and risk management must account for these errors and fix the issues as they arise. Risk Management will ensure that the customer who used a outsourcing shipping service is satisfied and receives their shipment. Risk management is always a factor in the logistics and transportation process, and companies must have risk mitigation strategies in place to address these challenges.
Transportation Models and Route Optimization
Transportation methods vary depending on factors like distance, speed, cost, and type of goods. Common transportation modes include trucking, rail, air freight, sea shipping, and even pipelines. The choice of mode depends on factors such as cost, urgency, and the nature of the products being transported.
Transportation models feed directly into route optimization, or the minimizing of costs and logistical overhaul by choosing the best possible path for an item to be sent on.
Route planning is essential for minimizing transportation costs and delivery times. Advanced software and algorithms are used to determine the most efficient routes, taking into account factors like traffic conditions, fuel costs, and delivery schedules.
Third party logistics companies that utilize Outsourced Shipping services are no exception to this system. In the process of outsourcing shipping services, the logistics company that has been tasked by the customer to deliver a package in the most effective way possible, must use transportation models and route optimization to deliver their goods in the most effective time using the most efficient path of delivery.
Effective management of logistics and transportation within the supply chain is critical for maintaining customer satisfaction, reducing costs, and gaining a competitive advantage. As technology continues to advance, supply chain professionals are leveraging data analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence to further optimize these processes and enhance overall supply chain efficiency.
As referenced before, The choice of transportation mode in logistics and supply chain management depends on various factors, including the type of goods being transported, distance, cost, speed, and specific requirements. Here are the common modes of transport and why they are used:
Road transportation is highly flexible and widely used for both short-haul and long-haul shipments. It can access nearly any location with road infrastructure, making it suitable for door-to-door delivery. Trucks are also well-suited for time-sensitive shipments.
Popular shipments that can be transported by truck include: Perishable goods, consumer products, industrial equipment, and just-in-time deliveries.
Rail transportation is efficient for long-distance, bulk, and heavy freight. Trains can carry large quantities of goods and are more fuel-efficient than trucks. They are suitable for transporting commodities over extended distances. If you were to look into a train’s cargo area, some goods you might find include bulk materials like coal, grains, and minerals among other materials. Trains are a reliable method of transport and it’s no wonder 3pl companies choo-choose to use the rail time and time again.
Air transportation is the fastest mode, ideal for time-sensitive and high-value shipments.
Advantages: Speed and reliability are the primary advantages. It’s especially important for global supply chains requiring rapid delivery. Shipments most commonly found on airfreights include, Electronics, pharmaceuticals, perishable goods, and urgent shipments.
Who doesn’t love boats!? Maritime transportation is crucial for international trade and bulk cargo shipments. It’s cost-effective for transporting large volumes of goods over long distances. Cargo ships can handle a wide range of goods and will commonly be found toting bulk commodities like oil, coal, and iron ore, as well as consumer goods in containerized cargo.
And to bring it all together, lastly we can talk about Intermodal Transportation, or also known as involves using multiple modes of transportation (e.g., truck, rail, ship) in a single shipment.
This combines the benefits of various modes, optimizing efficiency and cost. Intermodal transportation is most used in the case of international shipping, where goods may travel by sea, then rail or truck to reach their final destination.
Each transportation mode has its strengths and weaknesses, making them suitable for different scenarios within the supply chain. Companies often use a combination of these modes, known as “multi-modal transportation,” to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness while meeting customer demands. The choice of mode depends on factors like distance, volume, urgency, and budget constraints, and it is a critical decision in supply chain and logistics management.
About Westhub Logistics
At Westhub Logistics we practice a client-first approach. We stand out with an unprecedented standard for personalized 3PL services. Our first goal is to listen to your needs and provide you with unique solutions. WHL can work with you to create a customized FBA plan, and you won’t have to pay for unnecessary services. If you are seeking logistics support, we’d love to hear from you, our team is ready to help. Give us a call today 408-585-9346 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org