Choosing a 3PL Partner in the Southeast

If you are a small to mid-size company selling your products across the country, chances are you are already familiar with the challenges and costs associated with third party warehousing and transportation. In today’s transportation markets, contracting with a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier can lead to higher costs and, more importantly, unpredictable deliveries. To address these challenges, many shippers are building relationships with regional third-party logistics (3PL) companies to consolidate inventory and simplify their supply chain. If you market your goods across the Southeastern U.S., for example, choosing a 3PL partner in the Southeast can help you keep your product available, your prices competitive, and your costs manageable.

Advantages of Choosing a 3PL Partner

Why should you choose to work with a regional 3PL company versus handling your own co-packaging, warehousing, and transportation? Simply put, a 3PL partner allows you to focus on what you do best: making and marketing products that provide value to your customers. 3PL’s can save you time, effort, and money. Here are a few specific ways this works:

  • A 3PL partner can provide freight consolidation services. By consolidating several LTL orders into one full load going to the same destination, a 3PL can take advantage of truckload efficiencies and give the shipper a cost lower than if the shipper had shipped it as a stand-alone or LTL order.
  • 3PL services can reduce damage to your products in transit. With LTL shipping, pallets are often handled multiple times—each handling increases the risk of damage to your product. Consolidated shipping through a single regional terminal greatly reduces the need for re-handling.
  • An established consolidation program can make delivery more reliable. An established consolidation program should have a published sailing schedule and real history to document on time deliveries. As a shipper, if you can work with your customers to match the delivery dates on the sailing schedules, you will be able to consistently meet RAD, greatly reducing the risk of compliance issues.
  • 3PL’s frequently provided co-packaging services. Co-packaging does add another level of complexity in managing available stock. However, it does give you added flexibility to make closer to order than packaging or repackaging the displays, counter displays, power wings, etc. at the manufacturing plant.

Choosing the Right 3PL Partner

So, how do you decide on the right 3PL company for you?

  • Make sure the company provides the critical services you want to outsource. If you need warehousing, co-packaging, and transportation services, it is easier to work with one company that provides more services than multiple companies providing these services separately.
  • Make sure the company’s service area covers the area you need covered. If not, do not be shy to ask for an expanded service area.
  • Make sure the sailing schedule is dependable and supported by both capacity and order volume.
  • Make sure the company communicates and explains your costs thoroughly. The cheapest provider is rarely the lowest cost provider.

To learn more about Atlanta Bonded Warehouse, contact us today.