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When you need to store more inventory, whether it’s for seasonal products, raw material, finished goods or idle equipment, a third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse can help. 3PL companies may also handle receiving inventory, storing products, picking and packing orders, and shipping orders, but your organization may be gun shy to commit to a long-term lease or leery about hidden costs. Here’s what you need to know to find a 3PL warehouse near you, so you can access the flexible inventory control, distribution services, and inventory management that's right for your company.
There are a lot of 3PL warehouse options available today, thanks to the surge of e-commerce, but it can be difficult to choose the right warehouse for your needs. As you begin your search for a third-party logistics partner, these are a few factors you should consider:
There are generally two types of 3PL warehouses: large and small. A large facility can accommodate larger amounts of products and may be able to handle a large order at the last minute. A smaller facility may not be able to manage a large last-minute order, but you’ll often have personalized service to help you with exactly what your company needs.
You may need to visit your 3PL at some point, so consider its proximity to your office or home. Also consider the proximity to major highways and access to major cities. Locations closer to major highways make it more convenient to ship your products quickly.
Make sure you know the distribution center’s pricing structure. Many 3PL companies charge for receiving inventory, storage, labeling, pick and pack, and shipping costs—and perhaps others. Know what services you are paying for and look for a company that offers all of the services you need.
You’ll want to know the reliability of their inventory management. For example, during peak seasons, shipping rates may slow down dramatically. Be sure to inquire about handling guarantees.
You may not always need that extra storage space, so you may not need to build that extra warehouse. 3PL warehouses come in handy for inventory control during seasonal fluctuations. Consider partnering with a 3PL warehouse for short-term or long-term storage solutions.
There are many 3PL companies to choose from, but we know your business has unique and changing demands. To find the right 3PL warehouse for you, be sure to consider the needs of your company. Each logistics partner will offer similar, but different, services to meet your specific needs.
It’s possible to work with a reputable 3PL warehouse that will partner with your company to help you get to the next level. MWD Logistics is a third party logistics company, providing flexible warehouse solutions to customers throughout the Midwest with the capacity to open warehouse storage and logistics services in other regions. Find a location near you today!
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