Why Choose a 3PL for LTL shipments

third party logistics managementLTL shipping, also known as Less Than Truckload, refers to shipments that do not require a full trailer for transport. Many growing businesses rely on this service to deliver their goods to customers in all industries across North America. Choosing the right 3PL company can be very crucial to a small business’ livelihood because it can provide cost savings and personalized service to the needs of the end client.

1) Cost savings

Third party logistics companies specialize in growing their partnerships with small, medium and large sized LTL carriers (You may ship 2 skids per week, but a 3PL may have 100 clients like to meaning they will have deeper discount because they spend more). This gives them buying power to negotiate better rates/service for their clients. Many LTL carriers use rating systems that are based on pallet size dimensions and weight. A 3PL company has the advantage of being able to negotiate lower rates due to their higher volumes of business with different LTL carriers that specialize in different lanes industry verticals and markets.

2) Customer service

A 3PL company can offer personalized customer service by being flexible in order to meet each customer’s needs, a good 3PL will realize every client is different and tailor solutions to your needs, instead of giving you rates and fitting you into the box that is easiest for them. The different partnerships of a 3PL are an extension of their business and when it comes to servicing a client, challenges are always viewed as opportunities for growth.

3) Industry knowledge

Your 3PL partner is always up to date with the latest changes in the industry. There is no better option than to have your 3PL professionals guide you through your business and your Supply Chain challenges. The expertize from the right team as well as attention to detail can help guarantee success for any business in terms of service and their bottom line profitability.

4) Value added Service

The value that a 3PL company provides is having a team of industry professionals at your disposal, together with technology to provide visibility of your shipments and personalized attention to your business. 3PL companies can provide options and costs savings according to your customer’s needs.

Overall, a 3PL company is the best option when it comes to shipping LTL freight. Especially when shipments have special requirements like handle with care or time sensitive deadlines. 3PL companies provide an advantage for businesses looking to find the most competitive rates in the market, along with service that they can count on.

Why using a 3PL, is an advantage

third party logisticsAs companies look to the future, more and more of them are realizing the benefits to be gained by outsourcing their supply chain management. The integration of a third party logistics provider or 3PL allows companies to leverage a large network of resources to develop an all in one solution for assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution.

3PLs allow for each step in the supply chain can be executed in the most efficient, cost effective way. 3PLs can leverage relationships and volume discounts, resulting in lower overhead and the fastest possible service, all things unavailable with an in-house logistics team.

Today companies are always chasing to keep up with the 30 second attention span, rapidly-evolving, customer-centric environment in which they operate in. Even knowing what technology is needed can be challenging for supply chain leaders; with much of the industry blind to the future ROI. Moving forward with the expectations that what has worked for a business in the past, will keep working in the future, has paved the road to the future with the ashes of obsolete companies… don’t see many people rent a movie from Blockbuster.

The old regime is being replaced by a new level of demands on cost, service, and quality. A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor, and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed.

To keep your company on the right track the integration of a 3PLs knowledge of industry best practices, will create fortified lines of communication keeping you up to date with the latest developments in technology. 3PL software is capable of advanced reporting, inventory management, and provides visibility to monitor the entire process. 3PL experts employ Just in Time practices to ensure the correct amount of inventory is shipped when and where you need it.

In my personal experience I have seen the 3PL ecosystem comprised of a mixture of both senior experience and youthful innovation, leveraging each other’s skill sets and knowledge. This all culminating in a progressive platform to help maximize profits, reduce wait times, and improve customer service. Allowing your business to grow for years to come, by providing the resources to streamline your supply chain, reduce inefficiency, and the technology that ensures your goods arrive when and where you need them.

6 Signs You Need a Supply Chain Analysis

41873630_mA supply chain analysis involves quantitative analyses of inputs and outputs, in terms of cost and value added through a chain of supply agents. Value may be expressed in terms of monetary value from the point of entry up to the time they are put out into the market. If you have used the same analysis process and it does not tally with analysis from other quarters such as financial reports, then it is time to take a second look at your analysis method. Continue reading

6 Tips For Effective Transportation and Logistics in the Construction Industry

6 Tips for Effective Transportation and Logistics in the Construction IndustryIn the construction industry, transportation and logistics are at the core of implementing supply chain management that will gain you a competitive advantage. An effective transportation and logistics system ensures on time delivery of the right materials to your site, while reducing your costs. The following six tips help to create an effective transportation and logistics system for your next construction project. Continue reading

The Benefits of Hiring a 3PL Company

3PL LogisticsYears ago if your company first entered the market, you invested heavily in infrastructure and facilities, and logistics companies handled shipping and warehousing only. Innovations in technology and business models now allow logistics companies to manage more of your business services from the supply chain and customer service, to sales support. Here are some of the most important benefits to expect when you hire a 3PL company:

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How our Supply Chain Solutions Reduce Expenses and Increase Efficiencies

Supply Chain SolutionsWhatever market share a company enjoys, there are always competitors working to grab it. In the whole chain from manufacturer to consumer, the goal should be not just to make the customer happy, but to keep them happy. What keeps them happy is competitive prices and product availability. Supply chain solutions companies ensure that customers who know and like your brand are never disappointed on these two points.
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Logistics Solutions for the Hotel and Hospitality Industries

Hotel logistics informationIn the corporate world, the catch-all term “logistics” describes any and all activities involved in the transportation and warehousing of goods.

Commercial logistics adopted the concept from its military application, where the procurement, maintenance and transportation of materials, facilities and personnel are all of equal importance. In essence, logistics is the science of supply chain management.

Providing logistics solutions to the hotel and hospitality industries is a very particular discipline, one that’s practiced almost as an art form at 3PL Links.
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Why Logistics Consulting is an Important First Step

Logistics ConsultingExternal, third-party consultants must bring expertise that enables the solving of a specific issue or series of issues within a set budgetary resource that cannot be addressed internally. Certainly, logistics consulting is one such skillset; it’s a necessary function of most businesses, on which few companies maintain internal experts.

The word “consult” has a Latin root meaning “to discuss,” and that’s all most consultants do – they chatter away until you’ve answered all your own questions, then formalize that input, take credit for it, and send out a bill. Logistics consulting most emphatically does not fall into this category.

As noted, the only time an individual or company really benefits from expert third-party consultation is when highly specialized, technical expertise is a prerequisite and when no internal knowledge-base is available to resolve the problem. Because logistics concentrate on such specific areas, few companies have their own in-house authority.
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3PL Links Case Study: Manufacturing (Outdoor Equipment)

3pl_manufacturing_outdoor_equipmentFor people around the world, enjoying the outdoors is a critical component of happiness. 3PL Links has had the privilege to work with an entrepreneurial and innovative world leader in the design and manufacturing of ready to assemble outdoor living products for residential customers. This client delivers exceptional play and leisure structure options around the globe to children and adults alike. Operating under three distinctive branded product lines, this client creates products adhering to the highest standards in quality, safety, value, and fun.

Much like many companies in the modern economy, they are eager to capitalize on emerging trends in today’s consumer marketplace. For this client, that means having the ability to mobilize resources and engage their supply chain to continually exceed their customers’ demands. This need drove an engagement with 3PL Links.

Read the full retail apparel case study here

3PL Links Case Study: Retail (Apparel)

Retail_ApparelAs the embodiment of modern American style, 3PL links’ largest women’s apparel customer offers impeccably designed clothing that meets and exceeded the needs of today’s women. Faced with explosive growth in Canada, the International Retailer turned to 3PL Links for help with their supply chain management. 3PL Links was faced with a number of warehousing, cross docking, outbound and inbound distribution requirements. Furthermore, 3PL Links introduced the Retailer to the power of 3PL Links’ Vendor Audit Program. The over-arching goal was to optimize processes to improve speed to market, improve outbound freight from Distribution Centre’s to retail outlets, increase visibility on both their shipments and vendors and continually seek innovative ways to reduce logistic-related expenses. Through the use of a Risk Free Assessment, proprietary auditing tools and ongoing freight management program, 3PL Links was able to and continues to meet and exceed the needs of the Retailer.

Read the full retail apparel case study here