Partnering with an experienced third-party logistics (3PL) provider offers modern businesses many benefits, such as helping manage supply chain risks more effectively while enabling more efficiency. This strategy also helps support future growth by improving customer service and satisfaction.
Since this solution is useful for businesses across many industries, let’s explore what companies use 3PL, why and how.
E-Commerce and Retail
E-commerce skyrocketed during the pandemic, when shoppers didn’t have access to traditional marketplaces. In 2021, the industry generated over $5 billion in sales. The trend shows no signs of slowing as consumers continue to enjoy online shopping’s convenience. Economists predict the market will grow 56% by 2026 and generate over $8 billion in revenue.
This increase drives demand for e-commerce order fulfillment services and more efficient logistics. A 3PL partner can carry out tasks like last-mile delivery so that customer products arrive on time and in good condition, regardless of where they are. Plus, these providers can help with reverse logistics and returns processing to maintain great customer service.
Online retailers also rely heavily on their 3PL providers for inventory management solutions. The insights a 3PL firm provides into product stock let e-commerce pros know the status of the goods at a glance. As a result, companies get the data they need to place supply orders and schedule production to avoid stockouts, keeping their customers happier.
Third-party logistics companies help traditional retail stores support their operations, as well. Businesses providing 3PL solutions offer short-term storage and long-term warehousing services to meet seasonal demand changes. They also supply cost-effective solutions like cross-docking, simplifying goods distribution and increasing delivery speed.
Manufacturing and Distribution
Goods manufacturers and distributors face many pain points in the supply chain. Manual processes and in-house storage and shipping operations can be expensive, and inefficient transportation further increases operating costs. Effective raw material movement is vital to promoting continuous production and preventing downtime that may result in unsatisfied customers.
An experienced 3PL provider like Crown LSP Group is an ideal solution, serving as a strategic business partner that offers solutions such as:
- Warehouse storage: We can accommodate your long- and short-term storage needs to help you gain the redundancy just-in-time manufacturing requires.
- On-site warehousing services: Our team provides on-site operational support for your facilities, eliminating the high labor costs of staffing and managing it independently.
- Transportation services: Crown LSP Group is an expert in freight brokerage and specialized shipping to help you cost-effectively ensure accurate and timely raw material deliveries.
- Order fulfillment services: We streamline last-mile distribution with fast delivery that improves customer satisfaction and prevents you from having to hire and manage ground-level fleets countrywide.
We also offer end-to-end inventory management services that help you optimize your stock. Our technology includes automated solutions that end manual processes, boosting accuracy, visibility and time savings. Crown LSP Group has a demand forecasting system for better planning, as well.
Health Care and Pharmaceutical
The health care and pharmaceutical markets represent two of the most common types of companies that use third-party logistics to solve their unique challenges.
Health care and medical supply companies frequently serve worldwide markets where patient lives and clinical outcomes depend on timely deliveries. A delayed shipment can leave an organization without the necessary supplies to deliver care. Further, these products often need specialized shipping to protect them against potential damage during transport.
Experienced 3PL providers play a critical role in health care and medical logistics by helping solve these complex issues. Warehousing services keep products strategically located for faster order fulfillment, and transportation services like less-than-truckload shipping ensure quick delivery for smaller orders. Additional solutions, such as drayage shipping, keep intermodal journeys on schedule.
Pharmaceutical companies face similar challenges when storing and shipping essential medications and treatments. They frequently need controlled atmospheres to preserve product safety and integrity and cold chain solutions to maintain those conditions throughout shipping. Those who do business with the European Union must also follow the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) framework, which contains the minimum guidelines for the industry’s supply chain.
Food and Beverage
Food and beverage companies have numerous regulations applying to their supply chain management. For example, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires product traceability to help contain food-borne illness outbreaks. These businesses also need ways to manage stock rotation to ensure that products arrive fresh and safe for consumption.
Inventory management services from a 3PL provider solve these issues and support compliance. The right partner will have the technology to track goods at every step, like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and bar code systems. With real-time visibility, 3PL companies can also support just-in-time deliveries of perishable goods to cut waste and meet specific customer needs.
Food producers and distributors must focus on preserving their goods’ flavors and maintaining availability for out-of-season items, as well. This requirement often necessitates a well-controlled storage and shipping environment.
Full-service food and beverage logistics providers have solutions for these challenges, too. Temperature-controlled warehousing and specialized cold-chain shipping expertise help companies supply their customers with fast product delivery at the peak of freshness and taste while conforming to food safety laws.
Automotive and Transportation
Automotive and transportation professionals are among those who use 3PL services to drive organizational value. Thanks to the nature of their business, these companies serve multiple customers, from individual consumers to dealer partnerships.
The supply and distribution challenges of these companies include storing and shipping large, expensive items, smaller replacement components, and care or repair kits. The latter results in a greater need for inventory control to minimize waste, maximize efficiency and meet customer expectations for fast delivery.
An agile 3PL partner like Crown LSP Group has the expertise and resources to help with automotive logistics, with services like:
- Short- and long-term warehousing: We’re close to the eastern North Carolina ports and can scale with your changing business needs.
- Vehicle shipping: With our freight brokerage services, we leverage our relationships with a deep network of transportation partners to find you competitive rates for large deliveries.
- Asset-based transportation: We can use our contacts for asset-based transportation services that provide the peace of mind of owner-operated equipment.
- Kitting and assembly services: Our team adds extra value to the process with kitting and assembly services that improve the consumer experience.
- Other value-added services: Crown LSP Group is also an expert in inventory management and rapid order fulfillment.
Firms providing 3PL services customize their services to streamline storage and distribution operations for various other crucial economic sectors, including technology, energy, construction and fashion.
Construction and Engineering
A successful construction project requires numerous materials that often arrive from different suppliers at various locations. Seasoned 3PL providers can combine these deliveries to help ensure all materials come on-site together and are ready to use, which allows you to please clients with jobs that move forward on time.
Technology and Electronics
Modern technology is highly sensitive to damage during storage and transport. A 3PL provider understands what’s involved in protecting these delicate and often expensive goods. They take the extra steps to develop specialized storage and shipping strategies to safeguard the products.
Energy and Utilities
Oil, gas and other energy companies have multilayered, complex supply chains with many moving parts to coordinate. Partnering with a 3PL firm lets them outsource the variables to a knowledgeable business that provides access to the latest technology and support services, such as intermodal transportation expertise.
Fashion and Apparel
The fashion and apparel industry is a high-SKU, high-turnover environment. As a result, businesses in this field have frequently changing storage needs. A 3PL company offers flexible storage, fulfillment and inventory management based on individual needs, and these customized approaches allow businesses to use their resources more effectively.
Trust Crown LSP Group as Your 3PL Partner
Companies in many industries regularly turn to Crown LSP Group for tailored supply chain management solutions. From automotive and consumer packaged goods to life sciences and food, we help companies optimize efficiency and allow them to focus on their core operations.