Wednesday, April 24, 2024

3 Things Your Third-Party Logistics Partner Should Offer



With a market valued close to £25bn in the UK alone, third-party logistics (otherwise known as 3PL) isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s forecasted to keep growing. The question isn’t whether businesses should use 3PL, but rather which partner to choose. In today’s fast-paced and consumer-centric world, finding business partners that can offer what you need on a reliable, long-term basis is key. 

In this post, we examine three important areas to see whether your current or a potential new 3PL company are a good fit, including:

·       Technology and automation.

·       Proof of reliable workflows. 

·       Environmentally friendly practices. 


Technology and automation

If you want to support and scale up your business, you need to know that the right infrastructure is in place. The benefit of working with a third-party provider is that you can leverage their resources rather than developing your own in-house. But when looking for the right 3PL company you need scalable technology.

A bespoke logistics service with the technology and automation to enable this growth is key. Look for essential features such as easily integrated, real-time shipping technology, automated goods in and stock management functionality and data optimisation on returns to help manage the process from beginning to end. 


Proof of reliable workflows

Both time and money can be lost to unreliable fulfilment processes. Along with the potential to damage your company’s reputation, a poor fulfilment service will hinder rather than support your growth. Understanding your 3PL partner’s capabilities, technology and any limitations is important. 

Check how cost-effective your partner’s service is, compare them to others in the market, and make sure they have a streamlined approach from the beginning to the end of the fulfilment process. Real-time tracking and a focus on the customer are all essential elements of this picture. During your research, make sure to check out any customer testimonials or case studies to get a true feel for what they are like.  


Environmentally friendly practices 

Waste in logistics and sustainability is intrinsically tied to your own business’s environmental policies. McKinsey reports that around USD 65-95 billion of waste is generated by 3PLs in the US alone. With a growing push for companies to behave more responsibly, a strong policy for reducing this kind of waste is essential. 

Check whether your 3PL has a strong environmental policy. This can include being based in the UK with local warehousing, complying with environmental laws and regulations, offering eco-friendly materials and running environmentally friendly facilities. 


Key takeaways 

The shifting landscape of third-party logistics can be difficult for businesses to follow. By choosing the right 3PL partner in the first place, you’ll be confident that it offers a reliable responsive and scalable service that’s future-facing and aligned with your business goals. 

To find out more about InterSend and see how we can help your business grow, contact us now.  

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