Third-party logistics (3PL) providers are helping many online businesses meet the challenges caused by rapid growth and the need to scale quickly while keeping costs in check.
How Do 3PL Providers Work?
A third-party logistics provider is a separate business that acts as the fulfillment arm of one or more online businesses.
For instance, imagine an online company that sells various types of gourmet coffee. While the coffee company maintains the website, focuses on marketing, and collects the orders, their 3PL provider is the one that makes sure orders are packaged correctly and shipped on time. The 3PL provider can also receive new inventory and handle returns.
How 3PL Providers Help Online Businesses Succeed
When an online business and its 3PL provider partner work together seamlessly, customers don’t notice any interruption in the experience of placing and receiving their order. From the customer’s perspective, they’re ordering and receiving from the same entity.
For the online business and the 3PL provider, however, the relationship looks different – and can be beneficial. The online business can focus on sourcing and marketing within its areas of expertise, while the 3PL can focus on the aspects of logistics that are its particular specialty.
Online businesses benefit from a 3PL provider relationship because they can scale more quickly and effectively. They save money and time by keeping their staff count low, rather than continually hiring more people to pack and ship.
How 3PL Providers Can Staff Effectively
Third-party logistics providers specialize in warehousing, transportation, distribution, shipping, and receiving. Their relationships with various businesses help determine what types of goods they handle and how quickly they must turn around shipments.
To be competitive, 3PL providers need to offer reasonable, transparent rates for their services. Doing so can be a challenge when staffing costs and variables like rush seasons make it difficult to determine how many staff will be needed and what skills they will require at any given moment.
Find the Top Professionals With Eclipse!
Partnering with a staffing firm like Eclipse Professional Service, that specializes in connecting with warehousing and logistics organizations can benefit both 3PLs and their online business clients. When a 3PL can control staffing costs with access to high-quality talent on a contract basis, it can, in turn, offer more attractive arrangements to potential clients.
At Eclipse Professional Services, we help our clients connect to some of the best available talent in logistics, manufacturing, and similar businesses. To learn more, contact us today.