3PL (third-party logistics) services are attractive because they give businesses more control over the cost of shipping products to and from their warehouse while also reducing the workload involved in these processes. However, it’s important to remember that not all 3PL services are created equal; there are several key cost-saving tips you should keep in mind when choosing and using 3PL consulting services. This article will outline three such tips that can help you reduce costs when using 3PL warehouse services.
1. Save on transportation costs
One way to save on transportation costs is by using drop and go. Drop and go occurs when a shipper who has arranged for a shipment to be picked up from a warehouse, ship, or other location drops off the package and leaves without waiting for the carrier to arrive. This saves the shippers time, fuel money, and vehicle wear-and-tear, while giving carriers an opportunity to fill their loads more quickly and efficiently.
Another way that you can save on transportation costs is by comparing rates. There are many different shipping companies out there with varying prices depending on where you’re shipping your goods. A few services offer free quotes so it’s worth it to take the time to compare these quotes before finalizing your shipment arrangements.
2. Increase your quality control
Quality control is the process of inspecting goods or products to ensure that they meet quality standards. Traditional quality control is often done in production, but there are many ways to apply this. For example, you can do quality control on the warehouse floor by checking that labels are being applied correctly and packages are not damaged.
If you’re using a 3PL warehouse service, you can also do quality control through their technology and expertise. For example, you can use in-house scanners to check your shipments when they arrive and make sure packages are not damaged. You may also be able to track daily shipping scans for any packages that don’t meet your standards for shipping damage or labeling accuracy.
You can also do quality control through your service level agreements with your 3PL. In these documents, you should clearly outline not only what you need from them but also how you will monitor their performance and report any instances of poor performance. If they aren’t meeting your standards, you can use those reports to get a refund or other concession. Make sure that you have clear terms so that neither party gets a surprise.
3. Work with suppliers who do bulk shipping
Working with suppliers who do bulk shipping can help you save on shipping costs. It can also make it easier to manage your inventory as you’ll be able to control how much inventory is in stock and when it needs to be replenished.
While shipping in bulk can save you money, you should check with your suppliers to find out what their minimums are before you decide to order in bulk. Most suppliers will require a certain amount of time between ordering and shipment as well as between receiving and processing. If your supplier doesn’t meet these requirements, then they won’t be able to work with you on larger orders. Working with multiple suppliers is also a good idea to ensure that if one can’t handle large shipments, there’s another supplier who can.