What the _____ Does Third-Party Logistics Mean?
Our lives are plagued by the age of acronyms. Just yesterday, you were AWOL from work in your SUV when you typed ROFL and BRB on your phone at the ATM on your way to get your (spoiled) kid from her AP class to take her to her SAT/ACT prep class (all while listening to ESPN on the AM). You probably should have told your boss, by the way.
Here is some HIIT for international logistics. Maybe you already know that 3PL stands for “third-party logistics.” But, do you really know what that means? Do you know what 3PL companies do, and just which business problems they can take care of while you tap away on your smartphone at the ATM? Well, as long as you are now out of that SUV, keep reading. Below, you will find answers to all of these questions and more!
Let’s start our tutorial by looking at the simple term “logistics.” For a business, logistics covers almost every step of the production and shipping process — from the first stages of procuring products and materials; through storing and inventorying them; on to the ordering and packaging stages; and finally, across the finish line of shipping them to your customers. That means, logistics can include the process of procuring warehousing for products or materials, finding the right packaging, organizing shipments, handling Customs compliance, insuring shipments, delivering orders and finding the best, most cost-effective shipping methods across any or all of the listed activities above.
3PL then, is simply the outsourcing of the management and fulfillment of all these processes to a separate business that specializes in procuring and/or executing them — a business like Shapiro. We save you time, effort and money. 3PL providers coordinate the procurement, movement and storage of all the raw materials, component parts and finished goods your company handles. This can include managing both the inbound shipments of the materials and supplies you need to operate, as well as the outbound shipping of your finished products. What do you stand to gain? Minimizing costs while maximizing business efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and your own renewed focus on your business (now that you are finally back from chauffeuring that spoiled kid of yours).
As broader business needs change or as your company grows in the digital age, the role of the 3PLs is changing too. Modern 3PL companies like Shapiro go beyond the physical movement of goods. Today, we also provide many technology and ecommerce solutions that give you total cargo control and transit transparency to your valuable customers.
Looking for Your Own, Personal 3PL? Think S.H.A.P.I.R.O.
Shapiro offers state-of-the art 3PL services. Whether you’re a traditional import-export company or an online business, we’ve got the tools and expertise to streamline your processes and cut your costs.
Our commercial cargo pros can design a tailored cargo management system with creative forwarding solutions to meet whatever import and export needs your company may uncover. Additionally, our dedicated e-commerce experts can help you create a customized shipping plan — complete with the easy-to-use, cutting-edge technology you need to pass your competition on the outside.
Our import and export services include:
- Freight Shipment Consolidation and Deconsolidation
- Emerging Markets Logistics
- Cargo Insurance
- Sea-Air and Air-Sea Shipments
- Air Cargo Services
- Ocean-Going FCL and LCL
As a Customs broker, we offer:
- Customs Clearance Services
- Regulatory Compliance Consulting
- Post Entry Services
- Warehouse Entry Processing
- Trade Agreement Consulting
- ACH and PMS Processing
If you’re an online merchant, you can rest assured knowing that Shapiro is part of Amazon’s Global Selling Solution Provider Network. We can also help you with:
- Additional Distribution Channels
- Purchase Order Management
- Vendor Management
- 3PL Freight Services
- Warehousing Services
- In-House IT Development
Ready to get help turning your business “to do” list into a “got it done” list? Call us today (yes ASAP), and we’ll get started finding the right solutions for all your logistics needs.
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