It has been a year since supply chains were disrupted due to Covid-19. Yet businesses are still being challenged due to consistent disruptions to product supply and/or demand. Inventories have continued to climb on some commodities while others cannot be purchased at any price. Companies have ordered earlier only to have product delayed by stockouts or transportation interruptions. Economic realities of the constant shift are becoming the norm.
Challenges are ahead for business that are stuck in the market flux. Companies continue to look for regional and local solutions to supply problems they have traditionally solved offshore. Creating a regionally based supply chain can provide options for a market that is in flux. Flexible solutions for storage and distribution are the advantages of a third-party logistics (3PL) firm ensuring that you can change with market demand.
Leveraging Virginia’s vast range of transportation modes and modern highway network is one option to differentiate your supply chain. The Virginia transportation network offers cost advantages by being able to reach over 50% of the US population in one day. Virginia continues to rank #1 as the best state for business which offers significant growth opportunities for companies needing a presence in this region.
According to Keith Hamlett, President of Riverside Logistics, “A 3PL partner can provide expertise for clients facing these challenging issues in the supply chain by offering flexible ways to diversify or expand your supply chain.” Here is a list of value-add services provided by 3PL companies.
People – A 3PL has experienced staff with distribution solutions experience and can provide the appropriate personnel customized for your environment. They have training solutions in place to help speed this process. This ensures your supply chain will be in place quickly.
Warehouse Space Available – Experienced 3PL’s have warehouse space they can modify for your specific needs. Special certifications can be provided for food, pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials, or other unique markets. Usually, 3PL’s will have multiple locations offering flexible solutions for your product.
Transportation Solutions – An advantage of working with a 3PL company is they have a broad array of freight service options. Truckload, Less-than-Truckload (LTL), Small Package and container drayage are just a few of the modes that can be considered. Utilizing the right service can save you money.
Technology – Specialized software can be expensive to purchase and implement. Utilizing a 3PL’s Warehouse and Transportation Management systems to minimize your distribution costs is smart. Access to real time data such as orders, inventory status, competitive transportation rates and other metrics speeds information flow to you and your customers.
Supply Chain Strategies – Partnering with a 3PL can provide you with expertise and guidance to secure your supply chain and focus on your company’s goals – not just right now but for the future.