3PL Fulfillment: The 3PL and transportation solutions landscape has changed
The barriers to higher performance in transportation are many: costs are increasing. Increasing transportation costs are driven by many factors, including:
- Transportation availability and capacity from 3PL fulfillment partners —- and the transportation carriers they work with —- have tightened as shipping volumes increase.
- What were “peak season” and “peak volumes” for holiday online sales demand before the pandemic is now the new normal.
- As 3PL companies scramble to catch up and adjust, there’s a general lack of reliability, which impacts product safety and on-time delivery, no matter whether your shipping pallets or parcels.
- Overall, many 3PL companies provide poor visibility into shipping activity and spend, so shippers have to rely more on gut feeling than hard data to make adjustments.
The more uncertain transportation becomes, the more shippers need a comprehensive strategy for not only reacting to change—but anticipating and thriving on it. At the center of a stronger strategy with your 3PL fulfillment partner are three barriers to overcome: rising costs, poor reliability and a lack of concrete data.
4 Strategies to Improve 3PL Fulfillment in the Area of Transportation:
Strategy #1: Reversing the rising cost trend for 3PL Fulfillment and Transportation
- Reduce chargebacks: These and other avoidable transportation-related costs are a growing concern caused by product shortages, damages, late deliveries and the fines related to them all. You can reduce these costs with a strategy as simple as it is powerful: integrate your transportation and warehousing activities. You’ll discover the root cause of delays, damages and other problems faster by connecting processes and communications across your entire fulfillment operation.
- Always review multiple rate options: Select and secure predictable, competitive rates from several reputable transportation providers. To help lower costs further, work with a transportation partner that manages significant shipping volume, which will create greater leverage when negotiating rates with carriers.
- Consolidate shipments: You’ll reduce both costs and delivery times by consolidating and optimizing shipments as product orders are received. This is especially important to capitalize on consolidation across an omnichannel fulfillment network.
Strategy #2: Improve reliability with your 3PL fulfillment partner and their transportation carriers partners
Once an occasional headache, delayed shipments are fast becoming part of the new normal, as delivery volume continues to increase during the pandemic and many carriers now operate beyond capacity. (Imagine what the traditional holiday surge might look like this year.)
On-time delivery and product safety are essential to supporting a customer’s brand experience. What can a shipper do to strengthen reliability from their 3PL fulfillment partner and carriers during the pandemic and beyond?
Start by assembling a network of high-performing, reputable 3PL fulfillment partners and transportation providers. Then, ensure those providers have the flexibility to be located where you need them most, to accommodate shifts in product demand. To support that goal, tap into a nationwide network of fulfillment centers located close to where your customers are. This combined carrier-fulfillment center strategy will help ensure reliability no matter what happens with shipping volume demands over time.
Strategy #3: Drive greater visibility to 3PL fulfillment and transportation shipments
Better decisions start with better data. Because you simply can’t manage what you can’t see, your 3PL fulfillment and transportation strategy should focus on improving data collection, analysis and reporting. The more you know about your transportation spend, the better you’re able to identify new opportunities to improve efficiency and contain costs. With the right technology, you can also improve track and trace capabilities, which will help you solve shipping issues faster and support on-time delivery goals.
Strategy #4: Manage transportation smarter with TAGG Logistics as your 3PL fulfillment partner
By managing all transportation activity via a single point of contact with TAGG Logistics, you’ll maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness, while supporting safety and on-time delivery. Just as important, you’ll have a single, comprehensive fulfillment and transportation technology platform for complete visibility across your entire shipping spend. As a result, you’ll optimize freight management by making more informed decisions, every step of the way.
Here is the 3PL Fulfillment approach we take at TAGG.
To begin with, our multi-point nationwide fulfillment center network enables TAGG to move and stage products near consumption, in pace with shifting consumer demand due to seasonality, manufacturer promotions and other factors. The result: reduced transit time and freight costs, while supporting the brand experience that customers expect.
TAGG Logistics, a national 3PL company, relies on cutting edge technology supported by the expertise of proven transportation professionals. TAGG Voyager, our robust technology platform for order management systems, directs and controls operations inside our fulfillment centers. Customers have 24/7 web access into all activity across all locations, so they can monitor inventory levels, picking/receiving/kitting activity and much more.
For customers who require it, TAGG also provides in-house transportation broker services for turnkey inbound and outbound transportation, both domestic and international. Services can accommodate any freight – from parcels to pallets and beyond — with any special handling needs. And TAGG administrative support includes track and trace capabilities, freight bill audit and payment, and claims management.
Quarterbacking it all is a dedicated Account Manager to help identify opportunities to improve while managing daily shipping activity. And that’s the point: the more complex and challenging that transportation becomes, the more you need a single, trusted source to help manage it all. For manufacturers across the country, that trusted source is TAGG Logistics.
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Contact us by calling today!contact tagg logistics