A Guide On 3PL Warehousing

13 September 2021
 Categories: , Blog

When hiring a 3PL warehousing company, most businesses are often concerned about the company's pricing. It is especially so since most businesses hire 3PL companies to reduce their operational costs. However, they forget the most critical aspect of the relationship; the warehouses. If you intend to hire a 3PL to provide warehousing services to your business, the extract below offers some insights on how to examine warehousing services provided by the 3PL. 

Warehouse Location

Although you might have outsourced the transportation function to the 3PL, you must be interested in how fast your products get to the market. Poorly located warehouses, for instance, would increase the time that products take to reach the market. Therefore, you risk severing relationships with your customers. The best way to approach this issue is to ask the 3PL to provide a map detailing the locations of their warehouses. Compare this map against your distribution routes and markets to determine which warehouses would serve your business best. 

Warehousing Resources

Pay an impromptu visit to the warehouses to examine how the 3PL runs warehousing operations. One of your immediate concerns should be the warehousing resources. For instance, what equipment does the 3PL use at the warehouse? Modern forklifts will ease the loading and offloading of your shipments. Besides, the 3PL should have a functional racking system that enables them to store different products. Warehousing software will ease the tracking of orders and management of your inventory. Finally, check the availability of high-quality cold storage if you deal with perishable products. 

Storage Arrangements

The 3PL should be in a position to offer storage services regardless of the number of products that your business produces. Remember, most small businesses may not have inventory or raw materials to fill a warehouse. Therefore, the company should provide flexible storage solutions that enable you to store inventory to match the prevailing market forces. 

Security And Liabilities

The warehouse must be safe. Otherwise, malicious individuals could steal or damage your products. Security measures such as armed guards, CCTV, alarms, and restricted access systems are a must-have in the warehouse. Check the 3PL's liability policy. More often than not, reputable companies will offer storage insurance to cover acts of God and theft. However, you could need additional insurance to cover negligent acts such as improper packing and labelling, which could lead to product spoilage at the warehouse. 

When hiring a 3PL warehousing company, examine the location of its warehouse, the available warehouse resources, storage arrangements, security, and liabilities.