Here’s a Handy Guide to the Core Functions of 3PLs or Third-Party Logistics

There comes a point when many businesses don’t have enough space or the money they need to meet the soaring demand for their products. As a result, they look for cost-effective ways to deliver their products to the customers.

They usually turn to third-party logistics (3PL) providers in such situations. Third-party logistics companies provide tangible benefits to the business supply chain by providing a comprehensive one-stop solution for distribution, warehousing, transportation, and order fulfillment.

What’s more, a 3PL can detect and fix the loopholes in your supply chain, reducing a significant amount of time and money, making the supply chain more optimized and organized.

Although many businesses manage order fulfillment by themselves, hiring a 3PL company can offer tons of growth opportunities to your business. If your order fulfillment lacks speed or efficiency, outsourcing logistics to a 3PL can be your safest bet.

How Does a 3PL or Third-Party Logistics Provider Work?

  • Third-party logistics companies manage your order fulfillment on your behalf. When you partner with a well-known international shipping company in the USA, they store your products in their warehouses. Businesses pay for shelf space in a warehouse that includes products from several businesses.
  • Third-party warehouses are designed to cope with the increased volume as your business grows. 3PL providers keep investing in new strategies and technologies to minimize the delivery time and shipping costs. When you outsource logistics to a 3PL, your supply chain dramatically benefits from their experience and expertise.
  • Highly trained professionals of the third-party warehouse collect your goods and deposit them into inventory. They then pick your products from shelves when customers place their orders and securely pack them for safe delivery.
  • 3PLs successfully meet the demands of growing companies by making their supply chains more robust and transparent. For instance, many companies outsource sea freight services to Nigeria, which helps them focus on their own core competencies and boost their revenue.

What are the Key Functions of a 3PL or Third-Party Logistics Provider?

  • Warehousing

3PL takes care of shipments of inventory management on your behalf. They store your products and take responsibility for all the technicalities and complexities of managing and organizing your products. The methods and strategies of receiving and storing an inventory of each 3PL can be unique and vary from company to company.

  • Distribution

Your third-party logistics partner picks the items and securely arranges them for shipment when an order is received. Gone were the days when order details, customer shipping information, and other relevant data were used to store in spreadsheets. Third-Party Logistics providers incorporate sophisticated technology to streamline the fulfillment process, ensuring automatic shipping to customers.

  • Transportation

Third-party logistics providers effectively handle the responsibility of shipping your orders to your customers. Your 3PL partner ensures the proper labeling and delivery of items to customers through its strong links with various trusted carriers while maintaining competitive pricing. Many 3PL providers offer ocean freight services to Nigeria that use integrated technology for real-time tracking of the orders, providing peace of mind.

  • Reverse Logistics

Many third-Party Logistics companies offer reverse logistics services to businesses. When a customer returns a product, 3PLs manage the return of the products as per their policies. The properly labeled return products to provide convenience to both businesses and customers. It prevents the hassles of managing product returns in-house and allows customers to easily check the status of their return order via the website.

  • Consolidation

Consolidation is one of several functions conducted by a third-party logistics provider. Many businesses ship multiple small products to the same location. When all the small items are included in a single shipment, it can help in saving a significant amount. 3PL companies that ship various small packages into a single large package are often called consolidation service providers.


The 3PL industry is rapidly growing at unprecedented rates. Third-Party Logistics providers are well versed in handling supply chain management. They help businesses save costs and improve logistical efficiency by streamlining the shipping process while maintaining competitive pricing.

3PLs can effectively handle the functions of warehousing, distribution, transportation, reverse logistics, and consolidation with ease. Choosing the right 3PL partner can help you upscale your company to new heights in the long run.

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