If you own a successful small business, you’re going to eventually run into a common problem: how to grow your business effectively and sustainably.
Growing your business can have many positive effects and advantages, such as increased revenue.
However, if the proper steps aren’t taken to ensure the growth of the business is being handled effectively, things can quickly go south and you may find yourself overextended.
Luckily for you, scaling your business operations has never been easier, thanks to 3PL – or third-party logistics – services.
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What is a 3PL?
3PL is an acronym for third-party logistics.
It mainly consists of outsourcing the logistical aspects of your business’ supply chain to an expert that can provide streamlined services, insight, and value. Essentially, you’re handing off a part of the business you’re unfamiliar with so you can focus your energies on running your business and providing the best product or services for your customers.
Logistics, especially on a global scale, can be a real challenge for small businesses, and that’s why it’s often best to hand over this responsibility to one of the many leading 3PL companies in the industry.
How can a 3PL help scale operations?
If you own a small business and want to add to your product offerings or expand to a new market, you have two options: you can either do it yourself or hire an expert.
By undertaking this venture on your own, your business will face challenges such as real estate costs, permits and licenses, construction of new supply lines and distribution channels, and much more. All of this investment can become costly and difficult to manage.
As an alternative, 3PL companies offer a comprehensive solution at a much more reasonable rate, where your logistical issues can be resolved by working with a single business partner.
Scaling operations with a 3PL: services and benefits
One of the most significant advantages of working with a 3PL is the convenience of storage space. You will get the extra warehouse space your business needs right now without having to worry about maintaining it.
Your merchandise will be adequately maintained and always available, thanks to 3PL’s inventory management services. In addition, many 3PL companies offer a range of locations to meet your storage needs.
You can reinvest the time and money you save on infrastructure and property investment into expanding your company. For growing businesses wanting to scale internationally, a 3PL’s experience is crucial.
Top 3PL companies to scale your business
There are many 3PL inventory management businesses, but the ones we’ve included below are among the industry leaders.
With hundred of facilities across the globe, FedEx is the most well-known brand in the warehousing and logistics industry and offers services in more than 200 countries.
With its 145 facilities, Shipwire offers 3PL fulfilment services all over the world. The business focuses on using technology for supply chain and inventory management.
One of the most reputable firms in the world of logistics, UPS offers its services in 220 nations and has 596nearly 600 facilities in the US alone.
How to find the best 3PL for your business
Prior to selecting the best 3PL partner to help scale your business, first assess your needs and goals. Examine the services offered by possible 3PL service providers and the reviews left by their customers.
Integration with your company’s technology stack, automated features, warehouse sites, value-added services, and affordability are a few of the essential considerations when assessing a 3PL provider.
When using the Freightos.com platform to compare, book, and manage your freight, you can also ship directly to a 3PL warehouse. Just pick the 3PL warehouse you are shipping to and get instant quotes.
FAQs: Using a 3PL to scale business operations
What should I look for when choosing a 3PL?
- Make sure your 3PL partner gives you access to a powerful automation and technological system that can allow you to keep a check on the product instantaneously.
- Find a 3PL with warehouses and services proximal to where you are shipping.
- Check prices and time estimates – and user reviews – before deciding to hire a 3PL provider.
How do I find a 3PL for my business needs?
Take a look at the various 3PLs and compare services to find the one that best matches your business’ supply chain management needs. You can use Freightos.com to book freight, including to 3PL locations.
Can a 3PL improve my product’s speed-to-market?
If you are currently having trouble providing your customers with their orders on time, a 3PL can help streamline your business processes and improve your efficiency.
How much is a 3PL warehouse?
Monthly flat rates can range between $70 and $300, or even more depending on your logistics needs when scaling operations. Or you can also choose a per-hour rate which will run you between $30-$70 an hour.
To learn more about 3PL check out our other guides including (3PL) Third Party Logistics Providers, How Does 3PL Work, and Third-Party Fulfillment.