If we look back to the turn of the century, when e-commerce grew in popularity, so did the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, as it struggled to keep up with the ever-growing number e-commerce businesses, all with orders to fulfil. A new generation of digital entrepreneurs emerged and selling products online became a very popular avenue for young, IT savvy people and, of course, they require 3PL for picking, packing and delivery.
The Comprehensive Logistics Solution
From the e-commerce business owners perspective, 3PL offers a total solution; you simply send all your product inventory to the 3PL warehouse, along with your packaging and labelling and forward orders as they come in. It really is as simple as that, while the e-store owner doesnt have to see the product and the 3PL company are geared up for high volumes, ensuring that all orders are promptly fulfilled in a professional manner.
White Glove Logistics
The Rhenus High Tech provider might be specialised, transporting and installing technical equipment, which demands qualified technicians who are approved by the OEM to handle to equipment. The business sectors that require white glove logistics include the following:
- Banking & Finance - ATMs and other complex banking equipment.
- Telecommunications - Secure networks for stock exchanges and other online trading platforms.
- Medical & Health - MRI and CT scanning machines are installed by white glove technicians.
- Fitness - Gyms and fitness centres require state of the art equipment to be delivered, assembled and installed, ready for use.
- Retail - Digital signage, digital vending machines and touch-screen information boards are all under the domain of white glove logistics.
Final Mile Delivery
This is when technical equipment is handed over from the manufacturer to the white glove logistics team at a pre-agreed location close to the final destination; the white glove team then have to somehow get the equipment into the building and to its final resting place. Can you imagine the logistical nightmare of getting an MRI scanner into a hospital and then maneuvering it into place? Such a task must be carefully planned and at least one technician would survey the site prior to the equipments arrival and create an implementation plan that covers every eventuality. If you need to cut down on your business expenditure, here are a few tips.
The pandemic forced many people to turn to online shopping, adding to the already high number of online consumers, as this eliminates human contact and once you have experienced shopping from your armchair, you wont wish to revert back to the traditional retail environment. This is an expanding industry, as the demand for efficient logistics grows, while some of the larger 3PL companies have their own carrier network, enabling them to handle the entire process from picking and packing to delivery. Even when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, consumers will still shop online, as it offers so many benefits.
The 3PL company would have a warehouse facility, which would be full of their clients products and packaging, and when a client receives an order, they simply forward the details to their 3PL partner who handles everything. This would likely be semi-automated, with employees filling small trolleys with ordered products, ready for packaging and despatch and on the other side of the warehouse would be the transport department, which delivers the packages to the consumer. Some providers have a huge transport fleet, while others prefer to use local courier companies, it depends on the size of the 3PL company, as to how much of the actual delivering they do.
If you sell products online and would like to talk to a local 3PL company, start with a Google search and see what they can do for you.