When it comes to operating a small business, the shipping department is one of many moving parts that needs to be watched constantly and is an essential part of many small businesses. It’s also one of the most expensive parts of running a retail business. When it comes to streamlining processes, evaluating the efficiency of processes, and thinking about how to better run a shipping department, it’s essential to consider all of your options. This is where a third party logistics company comes in. Here are a few things you need to know.
1. What a 3PL is.
The first thing you need to know is what a 3PL is. This is a term that means “third party logistics.” One party is the business, the second is the carrier, and the third is an outside company that helps the first with their logistics operations which, put simply, means getting the right thing to the right customer in the right place at the right time and in the right condition.
2. What a 3PL can do.
A 3PL can do a number of different things related to shipping. From managing freight claims, to freight auditing, to shopping for the best freight rate, these are all things that a 3PL can do. Some of companies offer tools like transportation management software and a bill of lading creator to help keep track of and manage all things related to shipping.
3. Why small businesses partner with them.
There are two main reasons that small businesses partner with third party logistics companies. The first is that they can help a small business save money. Freight auditing, accurate bill of lading creators, and getting refunds from carriers can all save a small business money by increasing accuracy and ensuring that refunds are secured when appropriate. The second reason is that working with a 3PL can save a small business owner time — since things like shopping for rates, comparing service levels, and trying to file claims are all time consuming processes.
Do you have any other questions about working with a 3PL? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below. More like this.