Pro and Cons Third Party Logistics

Meeting customer delivery demand should be the priority of any service or product company. Its shipping and fulfilment operations has to be tailored to convenience to suit the customer time and preferences. And this is why third party logistics comes in, to aid businesses in achieving customers’ delivery demands.

What is  third party logistics?

Third party logistics (3pl) is a type of an outsourcing business which logistics services and support to some or all aspects of a business’ shipping operations, the management and movement of their goods from manufacturers and distributors to end consumers. When a company outsources its shipping and fulfilment services, the services expected include:

  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Inventory management
  • Customs brokerage
  • Freight audit
  • Payment
  • Shipping tracking

In short, third party logistics is an outsourcing service where your operational logistics from warehousing to delivery is being managed to save you time and fulfil customer delivery demands daily.

Functions of 3PL:

Warehousing: is a type of  third party logistics service provider integrated into a business’s warehouse and transportation procedures. Which involves specialized storing and distributing of the goods. Usually customised ways to handle storage, distribution, and product transportation.

Distribution: Distribution of large quantities of product can be a bit overwhelming, especially for small businesses. So, by outsourcing your distribution service to a third party logistics, minimizes your task and draws focus on other business core competencies. The services would include outbound order fulfilment, picking and packing, custom labelling, and manufacturing.

Shipping:  With a third party logistics, your shipping processes would be managed from start to finish, which  includes management of carrier relations, and freight data and matrix reports for real-time visibility and increased transparency throughout the shipping process.

Transportation: When a company leverages on a third party logistics, what they expect is from the 3pl service provider is to manage the inventory shipment between the company and its buyers.

Pros

Third party logistics has been designed to help businesses optimize their logistics operations. Whether a business owner or as an individual, here is how you can benefit from the services of a third party logistics.

It saves you cost:  Utilizing the warehouse services of a third party logistics saves you the cost of having to maintain your own warehouse and staff. You can now  save money instead of spending it on stock levels and inventory storage fees.

Unlimited Access to Experts: A third party logistics company has a core specialisation in certain areas of logistics, that’s to say expertise knowledge in those areas you might have no idea about. These areas often come with its own challenges, so by having an expert handle your logistics functions, you can have time to increase your business value.

Simplified International Logistics: Third party logistics works for you when sell products across countries whether between two or three countries. Or maybe if you are  in the category of wanting to expand your business Internationally. Third party logistics companies handles the custom, documentation, and other international duties which may delay shipment.

Cons:

Everything has a disadvantage, just the way, there are benefits too. So here are some disadvantages of third party logistics: 

No control of over delivery process:

Delivery is the most sensitive part of business, and issues arise during shipment, and are however impossible to get by, if you used a third party logistics company. And this will probably lead to series of back and forth, which would waste your company’s resources.

The initial cost of hiring a third party logistics company is high: At first, the cost of using a third party logistics company is expensive, and may have an effect on turnover. If your business doesn’t require substantial storage area, or have many orders, using a 3pl can weigh down on your business.

You can no longer monitor the quality of your products: This can be inconvenient if you have any quality control issues, or feel like you need to physically inspect your inventory for some reason. Always having a small supply of stock on-hand so that you know exactly what your products are like is one way to combat this, if it’s feasible for you to do so.



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5 Of The Best Container Handling Practises

Every shipping and logistics company knows it is important to carry out the best practices when handling containers at the warehouse and during shipping.

This is to guarantee the best customer experience for clients and ensure all crew involved are safe throughout the trip.

Below are some of the best container handling practices.

1. Thorough Inspection of the container:

It is best practice always ensure containers are waterproof, clean and not leaking. It is also important to check if these containers are leaking and ensure the doors are locked properly to prevent unwanted external elements from breaching.

Other things to inspect are the physical condition for holes, the date and integrity of its last repair and its ability to withstand the weather elements. Also the nature of the most recent cargoes removed from it to determine if there are chances it has holes.

Also, a proper check should be done on the weight of the container using belt scales or truck scales after all inspection.

2. Weighing all goods to be stuffed and un-stuffed:

Checking the weight of all materials to be stuffed and un-stuffed from the containers with reliable and well calibrated weights is a very important practice.

This will help ensure a container is only loaded within its capacity and ensure less damage in case of turbulence.

Among the machinery to be used for this process is shipping scales, floor scales, forklift scales, etc.

“Stuffing and un-stuffing” refers to the loading and unloading of cargo into containers.

3. Ensure all Containers are lashed properly.

To prevent damage of goods and the container itself, container lashing is very important.

This ensures the container stays static during transport and in tough weather conditions.

Depending on the nature of the lashing, a number of containers can be lashed to one block. In other cases where lashings are done singularly, secure them to the strongest parts of the ship’s structure and fittings.

The best kind of lashing is tight and short for a stronger grip.

4. Proper arrangement and stowage of Containers

One of the best practices that ensures containers reach their destinations safely is stowing them properly.

This is when containers are arranged safely and compactly so they endure the turbulence of sea transport with minimal damage.

During stowing, it is important to consider the features of the container and the nature of the goods in it (depending on the hazards they may come with).

Wet and dry cargo need different kinds of stowing. Not stowing cargo properly could lead to severe damage and losses incurred.

Bottom cargo will have to be the heavier material while lighter ones will stay on top.

Of course, the hazardous goods will be separated from others and placed in containers with compatible goods.

It is also important to ensure this separation is in compliance with segregation requirements.

Goods will be chafed if containers aren’t stowed properly, due to the motion of the vessel and sea vibration.

5. Ensure that all containers are secured properly.

The final practice to ensure your container is handled properly is ensuring that there are no spaces or loose packages on the top.

Securing the doors of all containers is important and ensure containers are arranged such that it is easy to identify the serial numbers for insertion on the bill of lading.

Overloading can be hazardous and reduce or totally avoid pressure on doors and from metals to other metals as this can cause a slippery environment.

Finally, proper documentation of the cargo is very important as it helps ensure all stuffed goods arrive in the same condition they left the port and there is no loss.

At BHL, our professional packing and container services, not only will you save time and energy, but can also rest assured your stuff will be correctly packed and labeled and that the space within your container will be efficiently packed.

Credits: Universalcargo.com