The last mile of logistics is always complex and requires a robust strategy to complete, but ecommerce delivery brings a particular need for accuracy and speed that can cause friction if not handled appropriately. Choosing a 3PL delivery plan offers ecommerce businesses many advantages when it comes to customer service as well as the safe arrival of their product to the customer’s door.
Choosing a third party logistics provider means handing over the costs for warehousing, hiring a team and maintaining a fleet not to mention technology, tracking and customer service costs. A 3PL partner essentially pools the resources of all their clients to ship products while streamlining processes. The economies of scale lead to a lower overall cost for you.
Made to Scale
Your business has specialized needs. All businesses do. But do your needs stay the same year after year? Most companies have a goal to grow year over year. This is where scalability becomes so important. In house logistics requires constant upgrades for warehousing and fleets to keep growing or else tie up their investments in a space too large for them initially. But your third party logistics team has the quick ability to adjust year to year or quarter to quarter, so your right size solution is available to you at all times.
State-of-the-Art Tracking Tech
Instead of estimated shipping windows, your ecommerce customers can track their shipments in real time with the use of smart technology attainable by 3PLs. In addition to helping customers, the supply chain transparency this kind of technology can provide for your business is invaluable. Data gleaned from it can help prioritize manufacturing, increase efficiency, or help diagnose weaknesses in your chain of custody.
Shorter Delivery Times
Access to those advanced technologies means the ability to streamline the delivery process. 3PL companies have the resources for multiple distribution centers coupled with route optimization. This allows for better resource utilization and higher productivity, which means less waiting time for your ecommerce customers and more bang for your buck.
Team of Experts
A logistics strategy has many moving parts: freight management, fulfillment, warehousing, inventory, shipping, tracking. It’s a lot for a small team to handle. Oftentimes, these duties can pile up, leading to reduced efficiency and staff spread thin. Choosing a third party for your logistics department means gaining access to a team of specialists in each of these fields with useful insights and recommendations on complex situations like cost cutting, industry regulations, and more.
The digital age has brought on worldwide competition for ecommerce business, so you must be able to deliver product to distant and remote locations. For an in-house team, this means using your proprietary fleet to deliver small orders, which severely underutilizes resources of space and labor. But a 3PL provider has a large network of delivery systems that can work together to gather multiple less-than-truckload orders in one vehicle to cut costs around the world.
Last mile logistics in the ecommerce sector is complicated by the frequency of reverse logistics. In these cases, you already have an unsatisfied customer, so it’s vitally important to make the returns process smooth and cost effective. 3PLs have the network available to bring back these products quickly and reliably to help save the customer relationship.
Taking full advantage of 3PL services can do a lot more for your ecommerce business than address your delivery dilemmas. A renewed logistics strategy can improve customer service, returns, growth systems, and increase your bottom line while allowing you to focus your attention on your business.