Third party logistics (3PL) are companies that handle the packaging, storage and transport of goods on behalf of another company. The annual investment in 3PL warehousing keeps growing every year since more businesses are seeing the advantages of this kind of warehousing.
There are major differences between these advanced 3PL warehousing services and general storage warehouses; and these should inform your decision on whether or not such companies will be necessary for your specific business needs.
Packaging & Transport of Products
First of all, 3PL warehousing involves more than just storage of goods. These companies get involved in the packaging of your products and also transportation. Depending on the specific company you choose, all these will be done in a timely manner. A good tip here is not just to consider the pricing of a company’s service as some are priced cheaply for very good reasons.
Basically, with a 3PL warehousing service like that of United Facilities, you are saved the headaches involved after making a sale and can simply focus your energy on what you do best as a businessman: making sales.
Individualized Warehouse Storage Space
3PL warehousing also saves you the pain of losing money during low sales periods. When inventory drops, such warehousing companies will allow you to pay only for the amount of space you need every month. In essence, if you need less space the next month, your payment rates can be adjusted accordingly.
This is typically not the case with general storage warehouses. General storage warehouses typically require a business to invest for a longer term lease and whether you need the space the following month or not, you still have to pay for it.
A company that is growing may experience difficulties in employing staff to oversee the storage requirements of their products. Moreover, small business owners may not even be sure how long a good sales period will last and having people permanently employed could be a big risk.
If you intend to go the route of using a general storage warehouse space, you should be ready to deal with these issues. A 3PL warehousing company saves you this headache as they take the risk upon themselves. What happens in this case is that you trade time for money and in the long run, you actually end up saving more money.
Food-Grade & Cold Storage Warehousing
Additionally, 3PL warehousing and fulfillment companies could also offer temperature controlled storage services for those looking to transport perishable foods and drinks. The quality and popularity of food grade storage has been rising over time. If you intend to package, store and transport food products, it is necessary to enquire whether a specific company offers such services.
Since third party logistics companies usually have access to better machinery than a regular business, the quality and expertise involved is usually exceptional. Most of these companies also offer custom packaging services which could be more expensive to obtain if you opt for general storage warehouse space.
Customized packaging can be an important tool in boosting business sales and attracting new customers and top 3PL companies understand this fact well enough. Typically, they will also offer advice on how you should handle your customized packaging.