3PL, or Third-party logistics, is a company’s use of a third-party business to outsource elements of their distribution and fulfillment services. A 3PL provides specialized logistics services to support your business operations, and your work with a 3PL provider depends upon your specific needs regarding your supply chain. When looking at distribution specifically, 3PLs involve many services, such as pick and pack, e-commerce fulfillment, shipping centers, processing, labeling and ticketing, warehousing, kitting, quality control, and inventory management. The use of a 3PL distribution service can help businesses enhance performance and supply chain management and gain insights into a complex industry.
The use of a 3PL distribution service can have a hugely positive impact on a retail business. When you work closely with a reliable 3PL and your supply chain is properly managed, you’ll gain a competitive advantage because your shipping process will be quicker and more accurate. Using a 3PL distribution service saves shippers on overhead expenses like renting or owning a building, purchasing equipment, and hiring labor, because the beauty of 3PLs is that they offset costs for their customers. Since multiple accounts share space, equipment, and labor, cost savings are commonplace. Quality 3PL distribution service is crucial for retailers because it allows experienced professionals to handle the complex process. Productivity helps you stay ahead within your industry, and working with a 3PL provider for distribution will help you streamline the entire process. Most of those in the retail industry are not experts on supply chain logistics, but a 3PL can take over the process and make educated decisions about each step. When retail businesses have expert assistance on their side to simplify their supply chain processes, they’re able to save money, acquire flexibility, and optimize their business as a whole.
3PL Distribution service comes along with many processes and industry methods, so here are three supply chain optimizers that you should know and use today.
As you may already know, there are many steps along the supply chain. 3PLs help retailers remove any unnecessary steps so costs can be reduced and product speed will be increased. With DC Bypass capabilities, this type of alteration is entirely possible. With this at a retailers disposal, the overarching strategy grants a business to avoid distribution centers altogether – allowing shipments assignment to their final destination immediately, which results in faster fulfillment. If you have ever worried about transporting materials that are inconveniently large or fragile, DC Bypass is an excellent option. Other benefits of DC Bypass include simplified logistics management, elimination of errors, and reduced market fluctuations.
An essential component of the distribution process is the warehouse, and warehousing is the practice of storing goods that will be distributed later. Goods distributed by businesses make stops at warehouses along their journey, and proper warehousing practices are essential to an efficient supply chain process. High quality distribution services often include quality control, processing and other services that align perfectly with warehousing to ensure shipments reach their destination quickly and safely.
When you’re looking to get ahead of your competition, efficient practices and consolidation are key. Cross-docking is one such practice. Here cargo is unloaded and then re-loaded directly onto an outbound truck. This means that little warehouse time is involved, and the cost of storage and labor is significantly decreased. When you utilize a cross-docking system, you’ll have the knowledge that your shipments are heading directly to their destination and not spending wasted time sitting in warehouses. A 3PL provider can ensure accurate timing and loading of trucks, as well as determine and set in motion the most cost-effective route.
For expert services throughout the supply chain, you can count on National Retail Systems, Inc. We are an asset-based full-service 3PL provider that has been providing customized solutions and logistics plans to businesses and retailers for over 65 years – and our experience has allowed us to master the lean logistics model. To learn more about the freight transportation services we provide and to discover the ultimate logistics solution, contact us today. National Retail Systems, Inc. is passionate about making our services work for you, so you can count on a custom solution for all of your shipping needs.
National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.
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