The disruption of supply chains due to Covid-19 is unprecedented. Businesses have been challenged to operate with a lack of mission critical raw materials, products or equipment. Economic realities of supply and demand will shift manufacturing from single source locations to decentralizing abroad or reshoring will occur back to the US to diversify supply chains.
Many challenges are ahead particularly for small businesses in terms of going back to work because of safety and security concerns. The cost structure will shift due to many factors and it will be critical to prepare for what the new normal entails. Creating a regionally based supply chain will provide options for a market that is in flux. Flexible solutions for storage and distribution are the advantages a third-party logistics (3PL) firm can provide and ensure that you can change with market demand.
Leveraging the Port system in Virginia is a good start to differentiate your supply chain for imports/exports. Our Virginia Port system may offer cost advantages, less congestion and more vessel calls, than other ports on the East Coast. Virginia continues to rank #1 as the best state for business which offers significant growth opportunities for companies needing a presence in this region. A 3PL can provide this presence without the commitment of facilities and labor.
According to Keith Hamlett, President of Riverside Logistics, a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) company headquarted in Richmond, Virginia; a 3PL partner can provide expertise for clients facing these challenging issues in the supply chain. A third-party Logistics company can offer a variety of ways to help with your supply chain diversification or expansion. Listed are areas that a 3PL can assist.
- People- A third-party Logistics company (3PL) usually has experienced staff ready to provide solutions. Training can be a challenge in the current environment and a Third-Party Logistics company can provide the appropriate personnel customized for your environment. They often have training solutions in place to help speed this process. This ensures your supply chain will be in place quickly.
- Warehouse Space Available– Often 3PL’s have warehouse space available and under management, they can modify space for your specific needs. Some 3PL’s will have commodity specific warehouse space available like: food grade, pharma certified or hazmat for those markets. Not all warehouse space is created equal. Usually a 3PL will have multiple locations and can offer flexible solutions for you. As an example, they may have a facility adjacent to the Port of Richmond for easy access for rail, import and export. They may have a rail side warehouse as well. A 3PL’s focus is to lower your total supply chain cost and flexible alternative solutions can be critical to your success.
- Transportation Solutions – Another advantage of working with a Third-Party Logistics company (3PL) is they have a broad array of freight services that include Truckload, Less than Truckload (LTL), Small Package and container drayage. Often, a 3PL will have owner operator’s and dedicated lanes, with routes throughout Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. They may be able to offer pooled distribution and consolidated delivery services throughout the 48 states that can save you money. This can be a great advantage when you are constantly evaluating your supply chain cost.
- Technology – Technology and software can be expensive. Often a 3PL will utilize a Warehouse Management and Transportation Management system to optimize your freight costs and provide insight into mode optimization. Access to real time data such as: order inventory status, and other tools to speed communication to your customers can be very powerful. A 3PL can provide a team that works together to provide visibility to your supply chain for cost saving options as well as comprehensive reporting for planning purposes.
- Supply Chain Strategies – Partnering with a 3PL can provide guidance to secure your supply chain and focus on your goals – not just right now but for the future.
At the end of the day a Third-Party Logistics company offers you the ability to respond quickly and accurately to market conditions or unforeseen disruptions like Covid-19. A 3PL can keep your supply chain running, so you can stay healthy – personally and professionally!
Riverside Logistics is a third-party logistics and supply chain management company providing a full complement of third-party logistics, transportation and warehousing solutions.
Riverside Logistics serves the Medical, Food, Chemical, Paper and other mission critical industry sectors. Riverside Logistics has owner operator’s and dedicated lanes, with routes throughout Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. Riverside Logistics offers pooled distribution and consolidated delivery services throughout the 48 states that can save you money. They are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. To contact Riverside Logistics call 1-804-474-7700 Option 4 or click here to fill out the form on our contact page.