A third-party logistics (3PL) company is a business providing multiple logistics services to its clients for their outsourced operations. These services include, but are not limited to, distribution and transportation tools, order fulfillment, track and trace and optimized delivery routes.
With a competitive market, it’s vital for businesses to find a 3PL provider that offers the most efficient services so they can stay on top of their distribution and delivery needs. But how exactly does a 3PL company optimize its services? What distribution tools do they use for streamlining delivery so they can provide excellent and efficient logistics? Let’s take a look at how 3PL companies help streamline the supply chain through their distribution and transportation services.
Track and Trace
Track and trace services are critical distribution tools within the logistics process. By using a tracking and tracing system, customers can stay informed about where their cargo is at every step of the delivery. Tracking deliveries will allow you to be more efficient with your time, reducing costs and improving customer service.
Tracking and tracing delivery systems offer many benefits for businesses, including:
- Regulatory compliance
- Improved customer satisfaction
- More efficient logistics
- Improved supply chain management
Logistics providers should be transparent with this data, too. When the relevant stakeholders have access to the information provided by track and trace systems, they’re better able to plan for the next steps in the process and ensure their goods are where they should be when they’re supposed to be there.
Delivery Route Optimization
Transportation tools and load and route planning services can also help with streamlining deliveries and operations. To complete deliveries on schedule, you’ll need to optimize your routes and loading to account for cost, time, and fuel consumption. An excellent third-party logistics company can help you manage these factors and others to plan out the most efficient distribution possible. They will also consider factors like driver safety, customer service, and environmental impact. The key is to find the balance between delivering goods efficiently while keeping your drivers safe and happy on the road. Transportation tools can help make finding that balance possible.
3PL companies are always looking for innovative ways to streamline distribution and transportation. One of the most effective ways companies can do this is by integrating the latest tech innovations. To give their customers the best service and stay on top of the ever-changing technology, they must constantly update their strategies, methods, and systems.
Recent developments in tech have made it possible for 3PLs to make service more efficient from warehouses and distribution centers to out on the road.
Some of this new tech includes:
- Warehouse Management Systems: This software functions as the control center of the warehouse, making it easy to keep track of every aspect of distribution and transportation. Workers can access the data they need to complete their jobs quickly and efficiently. Plus, clients can access real-time updates on their inventory and deliveries.
- Robots and Automation: Robotic palletizers, driverless forklifts, and smart devices allow for greater control over essential processes in distribution centers. Automation not only will enable facilities to complete work faster, but it can also translate to better service and fewer mistakes. It reduces labor and other operating costs, too.
3PL companies streamline distribution and transportation by limiting the amount of paperwork they and their employees need to do. Many third-party logistics providers use top-of-the-line tech and optimized workflows to reduce redundancies and stay organized. This has several benefits:
- Reducing data entry and other paperwork errors
- Reducing costs related to paperwork
- Reducing time spent on paperwork, which can be redirected toward other tasks or projects
Unnecessary paperwork can not only frustrate employees, but it can be a huge time-suck, too. Computer-based systems make it easier for workers to streamline essential bookkeeping, check for and correct errors, and update all information regularly.
A third-party logistics company can help you streamline distribution and transportation services by consolidating them. Great 3PL companies offer a range of services to suit the needs of their clients. When you outsource with a logistics provider, they can manage your warehousing, distribution, transportation, and more. This makes it simpler for your company to control the flow of goods from point A to point B. Plus, outsourcing can also save you time, money, resources, and energy when compared to doing so on your own.
A 3PL provider offers many different kinds of services in one place—including distribution, storage, packaging, and freight management—so you don’t have to switch between multiple companies. Doing so can save time and effort that would have been spent managing communications and relationships with various service providers.
The same goes for delivery; instead of having multiple vendors sending shipments out across town or around the globe, your 3PL partner will take care of everything for you. For clients, this often means saving money on fees and reducing their carbon footprint by using a single resource instead of multiple ones.
At Prism Logistics, we can take care of a variety of your distribution and transportation needs, both domestically and internationally. Some of our incredible services include:
- Warehouse logistics, consolidation / de-consolidation, display assembly, kitting, and packaging
- Intermodal services
- Route and load planning
- Tracking deliveries
- Blocking and bracing
- TL programs
Another way 3PL companies help streamline service is by partnering with other trusted names in the industry to meet their clients’ every need. Sometimes, they may not provide a specific service themselves, but they will work hand-in-hand with their partners to provide the best service possible. This type of seamless service and cooperation is essential, especially when transferring goods from storage and distribution centers to trucks and trailers for shipment.
At PRISM Logistics, we make transportation simple, whether you choose to work with our fleet or one of our partner carriers. Our fleet of box trucks, tractors, and trailers can complete efficient deliveries throughout Northern California. We work with every major freight carrier, too. Our pros can even offer a few recommendations for service, negotiate rates, and help you plan shipments from beginning to end. No matter who is transporting your cargo, you can enjoy complete transparency with our transportation services, like:
- Blocking and bracing
- LTL and TL programs
- Expedite management
- Destination scanning/proof of delivery
Like anything else in life, small and large problems are bound to arise in the supply chain. While having the best distribution tools is important, they mean nothing without proper support. Top-notch customer support is the key to resolving those issues and keeping operations from stalling. Businesses that prioritize relationships with their clients will do whatever it takes to ensure service resumes as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Customer service is a crucial quality of any successful outsourced logistics company, which goes far beyond simply answering phone calls. A 3PL provider’s customer service team should be able to provide solutions to your customers’ issues, whether they are related to transportation, freight movements, or logistics in general.
In addition to handling all tasks related to the movement of goods, 3PLs also work with their clients on other aspects of their business, such as warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfillment. The success of logistics companies depends on how well they manage these processes for their customers. With excellent customer support, clients can focus on growing their own businesses rather than worrying about how best to move products from one place to another at any given moment in time.
PRISM Logistics Offers a Range of Services to Streamline Distribution and Transportation
3PL companies like PRISM Logistics provide a huge variety of services to their clients so they can streamline the supply chain. From warehouse logistics to distribution management to transportation tools, we’ll work with you to provide the best experience possible. Our services like tracking and tracing deliveries, route and load planning, consolidated services, customer service, and updated technology can help you save time, money, and a whole lot of stress.
Here are some ways we can help your business thrive:
- Tracking and tracing will allow you to access information about the distribution process from order placement to final delivery. This will enable you to assess performance quickly so that you can make any necessary changes or adjustments for better efficiency in the future.
- Delivery route optimization helps with efficiency by planning routes based on traffic patterns, weather, or special circumstances, such as holidays. By doing this, they can ensure that drivers arrive at their destinations on time while reducing fuel costs associated with driving through congested areas during rush hour traffic jams.
As you can see, 3PL companies offer many ways to help streamline distribution and transportation. Their services include tracking and tracing distribution tools, delivery route optimization, consolidation of services, quality customer service, modern technology and automation, and transportation tools and services that allow deliveries to be processed more quickly with fewer errors. They also provide the expertise needed to keep your business running smoothly throughout the year. With the helpful methods listed above, logistics companies can optimize distribution and transportation to meet all of your needs. Ready to learn more about what working with Prism Logistics can do for your business? Contact us today to chat about how we can help your company flourish.