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What to Look For in a 3PL Co-Packaging Partner

If you are a manufacturer selling to retail stores regionally or nationally and whose business could benefit from promotion through secondary packaging, working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company can reduce the costs of co-packing (or repacking), inventory, and transportation. But not every 3PL company offers these services and even those that do might not fit your specific requirements. If you are considering a 3PL co-packaging partner, here are some characteristics to consider.

Look for a company that understands your strategic needs.

Co-packaging is an extension of the manufacturing process. Companies use third party co-packaging services for a variety of reasons. Such as, their manufacturing facility does not have the space to perform the services on site or the delaying the conversion of stock items into co-packaged products improves inventory management. Also, third parties have the flexibility to change lines from day to day or even shift to shift. Third parties can produce co-packaged products at a lower cost. All of these are reasons frequently given. Ask detailed questions. Can the co-packer demonstrate their commitment to quality and safety? Be specific about your needs and quality requirements.

Look for a company with experience.

How long has the company been offering co-packaging services? How established and consistent are their sources of labor? How have they tried to automate their processes? Over the past 3 years, what are the volumes and varieties of products they have co-packaged or repackaged? What is the level of supervision on the floor and who is managing the operation? Experience, flexibility, reliability, and the ability to problem-solve are all important to your decision.

Look for a company with a good reputation.

Another characteristic of a good co-packaging partner is a healthy portfolio of satisfied clients. Do not be afraid to ask the 3PL company for references and do not be afraid to call those references to ask how satisfied they are with the service they receive.

Look for a company that is forward thinking and innovative.

Technology is enabling massive changes in the logistics field. You want a company that can see past the horizon and act proactively yet, at the same time, not be either paralyzed by neither all the choices of technology nor believe that technology will solve all their problems. People solve problems. Technology is one of the tools to do so.

Ultimately, these characteristics add up to a 3PL co-packaging partner that is aligned with your company’s strategy. After all, when entrusting any 3PL with your consumer-facing packaging, you are trusting them to make it a better experience than if you had done it yourself. To learn more about Atlanta Bonded Warehouse, contact us today.