The State of the 3PL Industry

The 3PL industry has undergone many changes in recent years. Not only has technology improved, but many 3PLs have discovered more effective ways to serve their clients. If you're interested in using a 3PL, you'll want to know about the current state of the industry and how it can help you reach your business goals.

3PL Services Save Companies Money

3PLs have always tried to make supply chains as efficient as possible. Improved efficiency, of course, also lowers costs. According to the 2016 20th Annual Third Party Logistics Study, 3PLs are meeting that goal. The study points out that 70 percent of shippers who use 3PLs report overall cost reductions. Eight-five percent of 3PLs say they have saved money by creating more efficient supply chains.

This is good news for companies operating in today's competitive, global marketplace. Since goods can come from practically anywhere in the world, businesses need logistics services that streamline supply chains while keeping prices as low as possible.

3PL Services Improve Customer Service

It's not particularly surprising that 3PL service providers lower costs since that's why many companies use them. Eighty-three percent of shippers and 94 percent of 3PL providers, however, also report that customer services have improved.

To some extent, this is likely a side effect of improved efficiency. Customers are happiest when they have ready access to the products they want to buy.

Improved customer service also comes from close partnerships that have formed between 3PLs and their clients. Not much more than a decade ago, 3PLs would operate independently to help their clients succeed. There wasn't always a close collaboration between companies, though.

Recently, 3PLs have embedded themselves within their clients. This arrangement lets them act as departments within larger organizations, which makes it possible for logistics providers to react faster to customer demands. The result has been an increase in customer service that keeps people coming back to the same retailers.

Seamless Operations Are in Demand

Widespread internet access has influenced the way that many people shop in the United States. In 2006, only about 2.75 percent of retail sales were conducted online. During Q1 2016, that percentage increased to 7.75. Within a few years, it will likely exceed 10 percent.

As more retailers invest resources in e-commerce sites, they need to find ways to make the experience seamless for shoppers. Someone who buys a shirt online, for instance, may want to return it to a local retail store. If the shopper doesn't get this flexibility, he or she will use a retailer who does offer it.

As a result, 3PLs have responded by creating seamless sales and returns strategies that put the customer in control. Many companies still have room for improvement, but they're doing a great job, considering this is a relatively new area of commerce that requires a fresh approach to sales and customer services.

The Apparel Logistics Group excels at helping retail stores and e-commerce sites give their customers excellent services and low prices. Click here if you'd like a free consultation to learn how TALG can make your business more successful.

Posted: 7/20/2016 4:21:58 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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