How 3PL Warehousing Differs from General Storage Warehouses

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.

packaging 3pl 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.

Labor Support

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.

3pl warehousing

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.

4PL vs. 3PL: What’s The Best Logistics Solution for Your Company

Fourth-party logistics, or “4PL,” is the arrangement where a firm contracts or outsources its most of its supply chain solutions to more than one companies (who are often the third-parties of the logistics and supply chain). In short, a 4PL company or contractor is more of a coordinator the activities of the 3PL.3PL 4PL Companies

A 4PL provider ultimately accumulates resources, technologies, and capabilities to run the entire supply chain of a company. Ideally, the outsourcing of transport services through a 3PL has been an effective way of utilizing expertise, improving processes as well as reducing costs of transportation by a company. 4PLs are gaining more and more popularity in the logistic sector. They are the multi-service providers handling all the logistic operations right from planning to final reporting.

How 4PL Differs From 3PL Services

A 3PL company does or specializes in the field job i.e. activities such as warehousing, freight forwarding, inward and outward material, contracting transporters, packaging, and safety of cargo among other tasks. 3PL companies typically customizes all these services to suit customer needs.

A good example is the reputable 3PL company United Facilities, Inc. This 3PL provider is so versatile with its logistics and supply chain solutions that many business can rely on them without needed to work with a 4PL to help simplify things.

Lately, most 3PL companies have specialized in some areas of the industry. The advantage with them is that they have various footprints in most parts of the country, and this enables them to serve most clients located in remote areas.

4PL, on the other hand, deals majorly with the management of supply chain, analysis, planning, design, and optimization among other key sectors. 4PLs majorly concentrates on the corporate job and does less of the field tasks. in a nutshell, 3PL mostly execute the real-time tasks while the 4PL primarily executes more of future planning by use of past information. 4PL are effective in improving the supply chain and inbound logistics of a company.

Advantages of Working With 4PL Companies

1. Information visibility offered by 4PL companies allows a company to drive savings and improve service delivery. They are capable of highlighting areas of inefficiency in a shipper’s line of operation. This makes them more efficient, unlike 3PL’s that lack the incentive to drive out wastages and reduce costs.

2. Optimization of material flow. 4PLs enable a smooth transport management system and freight consolidation and other backhaul services and opportunities.

3. Improved productivity. 4PL providers can handle all the logistics on behalf of a company. This allows for easy detection of flaws in the supply chain hence improving the overall productivity of a company.

4. Quality personnel continuity. This is what sets 4PLs apart in the logistics industry. A company can access well-trained staff for quality operations.

5. Ensures neutrality. By fully acting on behalf of a client, a 4PL is capable of providing high-quality services in implementing the transport services of a company. Additionally, they provide essential information needed in meeting the shifting market dynamics.

With the current transition of 3PL to 4PL for some companies, certain business models and manufacturers have found the more conducive logistic services over 3PL. Taking the instance of the automotive industry, electronic and other warehousing companies, 4PL’s have been able to help them pick the best areas of specialization.

This has helped most clients excel in winning customers’ loyalty. Similarly, medical and other health care providers have found their way in seeking an intricate service delivery in clinics and hospitals. They are now able to drill down dip in their line of specialization.

3 Advancements in How 3PL Companies Conduct Business

Over the past few decades, the overall business model behind top-level 3PL companies has significantly evolved. Not only do third-party logistics (3PL) providers handle the warehouse storage and logistics distribution needs of the clients, but they also provide host of advanced solutions to help streamline operations for their customers. Below are just three examples in how 3PL companies have advanced their capabilities to provide more advanced logistics and supply chain services.

3PL Companies Distribution Center

Integrated Advanced IT Infrastructures

With massive expenses that comes with integrating a robust IT (information technology) infrastructures and support platforms, retail companies seeking to leverage the capabilities of a warehouse management system (WMS) for enterprise resource planning (ERP) can turn to the solutions provided by top-level 3PL companies in the industry.

The ability for 3PL providers connect to customers existing IT systems for the integration of their distribution activities allows clients to minimize the burden of having to establish such systems in house. As a result, 3PL providers who provide such solutions are able to help increase the overall efficiency and cost effectiveness of their clients logistics operations.

Managing Labor & Strategic Workforces

Although in the past 3PLs have not been known to manage and aid the labor force for client’s warehousing and distribution operations, this component supply chain management has become integral for most full-service 3PL companies.

As a result, today’s top 3PL companies in the U.S. are able to provide expert labor and workforce optimization and strategic output solutions for clients. This has particularly become important ever since the U.S.’s post-recession labor shortage that a number of different companies have experienced across multiple industries. Additionally, 3PL companies handle complex frieght requirements and other confusing aspects of distribution that would otherwise be a challenge for most businesses.

With better management and strategic workforces, companies are now able to concentrate on developing and utilizing their staff in the ways that matter most to growing their business. This new industry-standard of applying labor planning solutions among 3PLs has enabled companies cut costs in overall warehouse management and basic supply chain functions.

Last-Minute Kitting and Packaging Solutions

While most 3PL companies provide comprehensive warehousing and distribution services, the added value that only select logistics companies offer includes final-stage, or last-minute kitting and packaging solutions.

This enables warehouse and distribution centers to delay or accelerate specific functions, as well as decision making and predicting variables that are associated with specific order volumes and product needs for end customers. As a result, companies can either distribute their products and shipments in bulk, or have them packaged by the 3PL company according to their needs for their retailers.

The King of Truck Scales Introduces New Dimensional Weighing Products

Recently, there was a new breakthrough in the field of dimensional weighing products. Walz Scale, a company known for its truck scale innovations in North America, has released a new line of products. The new dimensional weighing and cubing products from Walz Scale are designed to tackle the most glaring issues that shipping centers and distribution warehouses face every day. Walz Scale New Products

These cubing and dimensioning solutions provide a better and more affordable alternative to most systems currently on the market today. But what’s more is the advanced cubing capabilities and various features that each product offers.

Automated Cubing Systems for Conveyors

For those conveyor belt operators who are searching for ways to save money by decreasing costs, Walz Scale is releasing several new cubing systems that will help automate the process of different kinds of shipping systems.

In-Motion Cubing Package ScannerIn order to save time and thus increasing efficiency, the new in-motion package scanner comes with a feature that displays package dimensions while the package itself is still on the conveyor belt. Furthermore, this cubing system technology is simple to install, because it can be mounted directly on the conveyor belts that are already in place.

The new dimensional scanning products have some exciting new features like the ability to display dimensions and package weight in real time, compatibility with all sorts of conveyor belts, as well as software compatibility with Windows OS, the most popular operating system today.

Standalone & Dynamic Dimensioning Systems

The new line of cubing system products is a perfect fit for those who are seeking to improve the quality and accuracy of their automation systems. Designed for heavy-duty activities and stressful environments, the speed of processing never diminishes the accuracy of measurements, and this makes for a noteworthy distinguishment from other similar products.

Cubing systems introduced by the truck scale company can also be used as standalone systems or add-ons to existing systems, which adds to the versatility of this new product line. The new cubing system also prides itself with being easily-repairable, since it doesn’t require specific parts or components in order to repair it. All repairs can be done with various common components that can be easily obtained from a local hardware store.

All of the features mentioned above make the new dimensional weighing systems a great choice for warehouse owners and shipping operations that need to process the most packages per day in the least amount of time possible. Simply put, the new products combine efficiency, versatility, and affordable pricing in order to provide the best dimensional weighing and scanning solution in the market. You can learn more about Walz Scale’s dimensioning and cubing systems at DimensionalWeighing.com, the official website for the new product line.

Unbeatable Performance & Functionality

Package Dimensional Weighing ScanningThe dimensional weighing and scanning equipment from Walz has been tested under stress and their performance and accuracy were never compromised. This is due to the industrial-grade sensors they have installed which provide top-notch accuracy when scanning packages of various different dimensions. The products have been approved for indoor and outdoor use.

Operators can control the hardware through an intuitive and user-friendly client that is easy to learn and efficient. The software is operational from the first day the user installs it, so the upgrade won’t take long. Furthermore, if the customers are experiencing any difficulties, Walz Scale is offering responsive support services that can be done either online or directly on the location.

All in all, the new product line offers state-of-the-art features which are comparable with the leading industry solutions, yet cost only a small fraction of the price.