What Are the Main Functions of Third-Party Logistics Suppliers?
What services can third-party logistics suppliers offer you?
Third-party logistics suppliers can help you achieve your logistics goals and improve the overall efficiency of your organization in the process. Whether your business is big or small, new or old, if transportation is a top priority for your enterprise, third-party logistics suppliers are worth considering. At the most basic level, 3rd-party logistics suppliers offer logistics services to support certain aspects of shipping operations - sometimes all of them. Typically, 3PL suppliers are integrated into a company's warehousing and transportation programs.
By expanding and customizing services, third-party logistics suppliers can best meet your specific needs. You can choose the level of involvement based on your own needs and goals. They can provide a single service or a package of services that spans multiple aspects of the supply chain. These services work in concert with your processes to enhance the visibility of your supply chain. In addition, leading 3rd-party logistics suppliers create value in ways that enhance your operational, financial and ultimate customer performance. Third and fourth-party logistics (4PL) are purchased professional services that help companies plan and execute logistics plans.
The main role of third-party logistics suppliers
In terms of transportation, third-party logistics suppliers can work with carriers to consolidate Less-Than-Container Load (LCL) or Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping, track freight payments and insurance documents, and work with private fleets. Working with third-party logistics suppliers also helps reduce transportation costs, improve efficiency, and develop solutions for complex supply chain challenges. By connecting with various stages of the supply chain operation, third-party logistics suppliers are usually able to provide real-time visibility into your inventory dynamics.
For businesses, global transportation can be complex and stressful. Third-party logistics suppliers can handle global shipping and logistics issues, such as customs, freight brokerage and consolidation, to relieve you of time and money spent on these processes. As representatives of customer business, third-party logistics suppliers are also committed to meeting all trade compliance requirements, managing costs, and executing on schedule.
Third-party logistics suppliers often use information technology to manage e-commerce, customer relationships, transportation and warehouse operations. Tools such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and cloud-based systems are among the most trusted tools by 3PL. Regardless of which tool is used, the goal is to improve supply chain processes and visibility during transportation.