Should I partner with a 3PL?

There are a lot of things to manage when you’re overseeing a business. Shipping is a significant component of any business and making sure products arrive when they are supposed to is critical. Are you at the point where you think you might need help with shipping? Are you wondering if your business is large enough to need a 3PL? At what point should you consider a 3PL partnership? We can help answer that!

Third-party logistics, or 3PL, is an outsourcing service that manages operational logistics of shipping operations from warehousing to delivery. Much like a travel agent might coordinate a trip, a 3PL helps coordinate your business’s shipping needs. Sure, you could go online and book the flights yourself, change them as needed, re-book if inclement weather, etc… but a quick call to a travel agent that can handle that for you – one who knows the ins and outs of the industry – is a priceless resource. A 3PL can do that for your shipping needs.

Are you too small for a 3PL? – To use the travel agent metaphor, if you travel once a year for business, it wouldn’t make sense to contract with a travel agent. It’s likely easier and more cost-effective to take care of the arrangements yourself. Now, in the world of shipping, if you aren’t doing a lot of product movement it might not make sense to partner with a 3PL at this time. However, if you’re growing, just beginning to export, or transporting hazardous materials, having the professional insight of an expert in the industry is worthwhile.

Are you too big for a 3PL? – Once again returning to the travel agent analogy, if your company does a ton of travel worldwide and is constantly needing travel services, it might make sense to hire someone that works for your company that can manage all of this for you. Along those same lines, if you are a company that does a lot of shipping products, at some point it is going to be more cost-effective to hire someone on your staff that handles everything. That being said, a 3PL can still have value!

Other considerations to help assess whether your business is large enough to need a 3PL:

  • Do you want help shipping, warehousing, fulfilling and distributing services to better meet customer demand?
  • Do you want to scale operations?
  • Do you want help with cost savings or control?
  • Do you want access to state-of-the-art management software without a large capital investment?
  • Do you want more time to focus on your product development and customers?
  • Do you need help with packaging?

3PL’s hold a lot of value for growing companies, allowing them the freedom to focus on creating, innovating, and selling their products instead of on the complicated world of shipping and inventory. A 3PL can also help you reduce waste and material costs.

Customodal has decades of experience in the logistics industry and is here to help your business thrive. Reach out to our friendly team of professionals today!