Understanding 3PL: A Short Guide

general 19 June 2018

Whether you recently increased your customer base, started operating in new locations or updated your manufacturing methods, it is inevitable for your company to encounter a handful of challenges as your business continues to expand and grow.

Most of the time, finding the perfect solution for specific situations can be made easier when you seek assistance from third-party service providers.

What is 3PL?

Short for third-party logistics, 3PL is a set of various logistics services and processes provided by an external company to optimise a business' supply chain management. 3PL services are typically tailored to a company's specific requirements and needs, ready to be used as required or as a long-term solution. Whilst 3PL service providers do not hold ownership of any inventory, they are responsible and constitutionally bound to execute the requested fulfilment activities of a company.

What are the types of 3PL services?

Standard 3PL
Service providers who offer the basic job of managing shipping and warehousing logistics.

Service Developer 3PL
Companies who, in addition to standard logistics, develop custom IT, security or tracking implementations.

Customer Developer 3PL
Instead of only helping their clients in logistics or developing systems alone, these companies will take control of operations to build and implement a custom logistics system for the business.


Why choose 3PL?

3PL services are commonly utilised by many expanding organisations for the following reasons:

  • Cost-effective

Utilising 3PL services is by far a much more inexpensive option compared to a company investing in capital and overhead settings. This is especially beneficial if you only have a short-term project if there is no need to acquire the necessary warehousing space, trucking and transportation fleets, human resources and technology.

  • Efficient

Apart from saving on capital costs, 3PL services can be hugely beneficial when it comes to a business' timetable. Reliable companies who offer 3PL services are capable of providing faster transportation and reducing delivery time.

  • Flexible

3PL service providers are capable of accommodating different levels of business no matter what the season or cyclical demands. [LH1] 

  • Improves customer experience

Not only do 3PL services provide advantages to the business side of a company, theyare also capable of improving customer satisfaction and boosting retention as well.

  • Provides international reach

It is inevitable to incur a number of challenges when a company expands beyond its country’s borders. In light of this, you can be assured that 3PL service providers are knowledgeable enough when it comes to regulatory compliance, customs clearance and communications to ensure a successful entry to foreign markets.

AKW Global Logistics endeavour to offer and provide bespoke logistics solutions in order to connect our partners' businesses to the whole of the UK and even beyond. Our global logistics make use of our advanced technology and wealth of experience, combined with a range of reliable, flexible and cost-efficient solutions for effective packaging customisation, warehousing, distribution and international freight services. Simply put, we're made for it! Call 0161 873 2033 to get in touch with us today.

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