The Renewed Case for Third Party Logistics
As the logistics and
transportation industry continues to evolve, many
headlines speak to keeping up with Amazon, Uber
and Lyft, and the benefits those companies provide
to consumers. But when you turn to big-ticket
items, the conveniences of two-day delivery by
virtually anyone with a driver’s license goes out
Such items still require a
level of training and expertise that can’t be virtually realized overnight. For
manufactures of complex and highly valuable
equipment and technology, you have two primary
choices: 1) invest internally in developing
a logistics staff for transporting, delivering and installing
the products yourself, or 2) hire a third-party
logistics provider (3PL) to handle it for you.
In this blog, we look at
the case for hiring a third-party partner.
Single Source Logistics
One top reason is cost.
With a 3PL, you don’t have to build and manage it
all yourself. From the capital investments to the
HR implications to your bottom line, a third-party
provider already has everything in place, eliminating a burdensome
department budget for finances, headcount, and
The top providers will be
your single source for all logistics matters, from
documentation, compliance for regulatory entities,
beyond. This also means you only have to deal with
one provider to manage all those needs, and
ideally only one point-of-contact within your
vendor’s organization for a truly seamless
industry is in the midst of a driver shortage that
will likely get worse before it gets better. If
you bring the logistics function in house, your
company must not only manage the hiring, training
drivers, but you must also recruit from a highly
competitive pool, which adds to your recruiting, benefits,
training, insurance, and HR expenses.
By choosing to outsource
your logistics program, your third-party logistics
partner manages and carries the burden of having
the appropriate driver personnel and equipment available to fulfill the job.
Hiring a third-party
provider also shifts the burden of complying with
government regulations, such as the recent
electronic logging device (ELD) rules that many
logistics companies are adjusting to this year.
However, it’s always recommended that you remain
aware of regulations and ensure your 3PL provider
The transportation, white
glove delivery and installation of equipment and
technology carry a unique set of challenges.
High-end, heavy or sensitive equipment such as
x-ray and MRI machines, in-store retail equipment,
laboratory devices and the like require a high
level of expertise and knowledge of the given industry, as well as the
specific requirements of the machines and
equipment being handled, delivered, and installed.
Rather than recruit, train
and retain employees in-house, a specialized
logistics partner that has experience in your
industry can help solve these challenges. One tip,
however, is to make sure the logistics partner you
choose has the internal capability of quickly
training their teams on the ins and outs of your
products. Having the team who handles your
equipment become de-facto experts on your products
ensures you have a successful delivery and
A service-minded 3PL can
also maintain or enhance your customer experience.
The ideal partner would become a brand ambassador
for you and go the extra mile for you and your
In fact, according to the
22nd Annual Third-Party
Logistics Study, produced by Infosys Consulting, Penn
State University, and others, 89% of shippers and
98% of 3PLs said that 3PL usage had translated
into improving customer services “to the ultimate
Would you like to learn more about third-party logistics providers, or do you have questions about how to select one? Contact us today and we’d be happy to provide some counsel.