Navigating COVID-19: Having a Strong 3PL Partner

Reducing costs has always remained one of the most common reasons to outsource, but another factor that is increasingly becoming more of a motivation is the desire to focus more on value-adding in-house activities. A smart move for any managers, as it affords a company the possibility for greater concentration to improve their own business processes.

During the past year, we have seen many retailers and manufacturing companies outsourcing their warehousing, assembly, and fulfilment work to third-party logistics (3PL) firms to streamline their business or handle a sudden switch in business objectives.

It has been a pivotal time for many to deal with a global pandemic, but 3PL partners have been shown to be invaluable assets for those looking to keep themselves afloat and even for those expanding their customer portfolios.

Let’s see exactly how.

Contingency Planning

Whether you have been at home or running your own business, COVID-19 has provided us with a learning opportunity on the importance of pivoting. Nothing is subject to dependency and those in the world of developing efficiency have experienced a crash course on contingency planning.

Luckily, when hiring a 3PL provider, you aren’t hiring them for one shipment route, you’re hiring them for a myriad of transportation solutions.

Experts in logistics, 3PL companies deal with tens of thousands of shipments a year, all with shifting schedules, multiple routes, and varying degrees of priority. Because of these variances between clients, you can expect your logistics partner to be masters of contingency, diversification, and flexibility.

Their expertise enables businesses to overcome fluctuations in capacity, transportation costs, and any number of abnormal circumstances that might affect your freight. So, whether you need to adapt your multi-channel distribution strategy or you’re having trouble aligning inventory for one sales channel, a strong 3PL partner can alleviate your business’s pain and can help establish an edge for your company.

A Shift in Focus

From brand new e-commerce platforms to hand-sanitizer manufacturing, businesses and start-up enterprises have been taking on exciting new challenges to help aid their sales or customers with our unfortunate circumstances. However, with new territory comes uncharted landscapes.

Businesses that have chosen to shift their focus during the pandemic need a strong network of already established value chains to achieve their new goals. But, when starting out, it is difficult to find the right answers for new shipments, new customers, and new supply chains.

It is expected that you will face significant challenges, but third-party logistics companies can lead the way with helpful solutions, such as exchanges that aggregate deliveries from multiple retailers and providing pricing incentives to your consumers.


Mitigating Impact and Risk

As social distancing has become the new norm, logistics and fulfillment operations now need a significantly larger footprint to allow six feet between employees, on the warehouse floor as well as break areas, restrooms and offices.

Because 3PLs tend to have larger facilities, they often are better prepared to scale to accommodate distancing requirements. They can flex to meet their clients’ demands, either temporarily or for an extended period of time without sacrificing employee and customer safety.

Beyond health concerns, supply chains continue to fluctuate with unstable demand for certain industries. This poses problems for hard-in-stone logistic plans as management can struggle to adapt. 3PL partners have the edge to facilitate flexible and optimized shipping strategies on the fly, allowing for you to keep on top of your changing client requests.

Address COVID-19 with Options

With COVID-19 revealing for many corporations that out-of-date supply chain plans simply will not do, it is now time more than ever to re-evaluate your logistics. Making the switch to a 3PL partner, such as Options Transportation, means your business can stay on top of what you do best while still providing superior service to your clients.

Give us a call today and we can discuss how having the right options for your North American shipping needs can make all the difference.