What is a 3PL Company?

A 3PL or a Third-Party Logistics Company majorly provides storage space/ warehouses and transportation services. These companies are specialist in providing a wide range of supply-chain services to its customers, thus relieving the business owners from the day-to-day burden of logistics and paving the way to focus on other areas of business. In addition to the storage of goods, a 3PL company also takes care of quality-checks during inventory in-bounds and out-bounds, warehouse management, accounting, billing, collections, processing like picking and packing of goods, and making the goods ready for the final transit.

What are the different types of Logistics Company?

There are various levels of logistics services including 1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL, etc. Part of this arrangement is to deal with the complex requirements of the market today. New levels are increasingly being created to deal with business problems in the most efficient way possible. Currently, the most common categories include 3PL, and 4PL.
First-party logistics – 1PL The term first-party logistics (1PL) describes companies that use their own capacities (trucks, warehouses, etc.) to store and deliver goods to their customers. They built up their own internal capacities to handle all transport, handling, and storage operations (trucks, warehouses, etc.).
Second-party logistics – 2PL Service providers who provide transport, handling, or storage services for companies are referred to as second-party logistics (2PL) providers. A typical 2PL providers include freight forwarders, shipping companies, forwarders, and warehousing companies as well as providers of courier, express and parcel services (CEP services). Therefore, 2PL service providers often own and use specialized means of transport to cater to their specific transport work, take on the role of transport of a particular stage or provide a single shipping service in the logistics chain of a client company.
Third-party logistics – 3PL The 3PL provider is wholly integrated into the processes of their customers, and is neither easily interchangeable nor replaceable, as the manufacturer/ trader usually dismantles its own infrastructure completely. They organize the flow of goods and information for their customers and take over their entire logistics processes. They also include further value-added services in their offerings warehouse and transportation services activities such as production or procurement of goods, order fulfillment, labeling, packaging, assembling, kitting, reverse logistics, information technology services, customs brokering, cross-docking, and forwarding. Long-term partnerships between the logistics service provider and the customer are often the result.
Sometimes 3PL take orders themselves and process them. A 3PL provider can handle invoicing and monitor payment. A 3PL company can also handle return acceptance and repairs. This allows companies to reduce their fixed capital considerably, as they do not have to buy and maintain their own warehouse or fleet. By outsourcing the logistics area, customers can focus on their core competencies.
Fourth-party logistics – 4PL They are understood as asset-free system integrators who acts as a neutral intermediary between their customers other logistics service providers (3PLs) to ensure the coordination and organization of all business processes along the value chain. The particular task of a 4PL provider is, therefore, to take over the control and integration function within the supply chain without its own operating resources and to increase the efficiency of the supply chain.

What are the benefits of a 3PL Company?

A small/ mid-sized business can be satisfied by handling storage/ inventory management/ transportation services themselves, but if a business wants to scale fast, it should get partnered with a 3PL company. To be specific, below are the benefits of a 3PL company:
Faster Growth and Expansion Among the many responsibilities that 3PL handle, one of them is to ensure that the company gets access to markets where their presence is still not felt. Managing the inventory in a market that is completely new without spending separately on warehouses, labor means saving costs and the effort to get hold of the all-new logistics of the new market.
With the help of 3PLs, businesses can manage fluctuations of seasons and deal with situations of sudden increases in demand. The fine network of connectivity of the 3PLs with service providers helps businesses to link with resources without any kind of risk or added efforts.
Cost and Time Saving 3PL companies have a wide network with various functions of supply chain. Huge investments made on infrastructure get reduced when partnered with 3PL companies as the services they provide revolve around leasing out warehousing spaces, shipping, inventory management, packaging.
Your 3PL partner can help you save your precious time by managing the entire logistics segment of your business. This allows you to invest your time over other aspects of business like management, marketing, sales, production and so on.
Technology Driven Approach A 3PL company keeps you stay updated with the latest technologies like warehouse management systems, real time order tracking, transportation management systems. Seamless fulfilment of orders gets guaranteed without making any kind of investment in technology.
Improved Capacity and Quality It is extremely important to choose the right resource for the various logistics operations. 3PL companies work relentlessly to choose the best network that provides the desired services. 3PLs have access to a large number of resources which means ample number of options and solutions are available to them. 3PLs provide services that are quality assured as they have experience and expertise in handling various logistics operations.
Risk Mitigation Undesirable circumstances do occur in the operating scenario of supply chain. Like for instance, we saw the drastic effects of COVID-19 over the supply chains on a global basis. At times such as these, 3PLs are responsible for fetching new ways and solutions.

What questions should you be prepared with before approaching a 3PL?

A 3PL will also ask you questions about your business and your needs. Be ready to have answers to questions related to:
• Product weights and dimensions
• Current monthly order volume
• Business projections based on marketing plans, product launches, PR initiatives, and markets that you plan to enter or expand into
• Where your customers are located (by zip code) — this allows a 3PL to determine which fulfillment location(s) you should store in inventory in
• Average number of items per order and common order combinations
• Total number of SKUs
• Average order value

What is the importance of choosing the right 3PL Partner?

If you are ready to outsource fulfillment, choosing the right 3PL can help you save time and money. Finding a partner that will support you for the long term. Choose a fulfillment partner that meets your brand’s unique needs, provides a positive experience to your customers, and ultimately helps you grow. This can take time — but the effort is worth it. Before going into conversations with different 3PLs, be sure to plan ahead in terms of future growth goals and how you will scale your business. This will help you determine which 3PL is right for you earlier than not. It can be a pain to switch 3PLs as you grow, so it’s worth getting it right the first time around. When it comes to your fulfillment strategy — always prepare for the future. Overall, it’s vital to find a partner that’s a mutual fit.

What is StoreFresh all about?

StoreFresh offers customised and end-to-end logistics solutions and services, including storage (including temperature controlled) and distribution (line haul and secondary only on Full Truck Load basis), warehousing management, contract manufacturing & logistics, in-factory logistics and value-added services to our customers.
StoreFresh aims to make the journey of all inputs, in-progress and finished products from origin to end customer, more efficient and reliable, with shortened delivery times, more economical, and better customer satisfaction.
Not only saving in costs, but StoreFresh also meet the technical requirements of the clients. Our expertise is extremely superior that deals with delivery and product shipment on a much affordable cost and totally maintain the time boundary. We not only reduce product return requests but also helps in reducing inventory costs as well.
If a company wants to outsource their logistics to StoreFresh, then they don’t need to worry about maintaining and managing an inventory. Just not that we saves money, but also reduces capital commitment. We take care of warehousing, secondary transportation, and also takes care of other operations more efficiently and with more knowledge with the best people and technology in the domain.
There is no hassle and chaos of taking care of every step necessary for delivering a product. You focus on other important works while we does everything for you.

How is StoreFresh changing the working of Logistics?

Our services allow us to offer you supply chain solutions through every stage i.e. Storage; inventory management, contract manufacturing, value added services.
Our experience, approach, process makes us the fastest growing company in the domain. Infrastructure, automation & technology, and value-added services.
StoreFresh offers more flexibility than other 3PLs. We have been a great partner with our clients as we’ve grown. We are dedicated to transparency, and are really committed to their customers and keeping ourselves accountable.

What kind of Warehouse Structure and Service Tenure StoreFresh deals-in?

StoreFresh does the QC while on-boarding any warehouse. Our warehouse’s performance standards stay high, have service lives that are long and have tensile strengths that are high. We deal in both the warehouse forms, shed (PEB) warehouses or RCC (Concrete) buildings.
We provide both Ready-to-move warehouses and built-to-suit warehouses. The duration for which the warehouses are given on lease ranges from a short period of 3months to 15years.
What are the advantages of taking a warehouse on rent than buying? Companies opt for asset light model by owning lesser number of capital assets. This includes land, machinery, building, plant and many more. By taking the warehouse on rent, a company can scale the business really fast. Investment Capital required for buying/ building a land/ warehouse can slow down the growth and also put a lot of pressure on the interest cost for setting up the infrastructure.
This is one of the major reason of Multinational Companies ( MNCs) not buying/ investing in Fixed Capital and opting for variable/ revenue based cost structure.

What is the difference between a traditional warehouse/ godown and a modern warehouse?

Modern warehouses or StoreFresh warehouses features good location, wide road access, quality construction, relevant licenses, appropriate carpet area, 24x7 power supply and back-up, good height, sufficient number of docks with right dock height (for easy movement of vehicles), enormous day-light, proper air ventilation, basic office and IT setup, fire safety, parking facility, water storage drainage, dedicated security control, etc. are getting build.

What is a Cold Storage?

Cold storage is a facility that is commercial and meant for storage of perishable products like meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and so on. Different temperature conditions are maintained for different products and as per the requirement. Products may need to be stored for sufficiently long periods of time under controlled temperature conditions. Under frozen conditions, products may be stored for relatively long-time span. StoreFresh is very much flexible in working with clients and provide customized solutions.

What are the methods or techniques of inventory management?

Depending on the commodity and company, different techniques are suggested by StoreFresh.
• LIFO and FIFO methods which are associated with the determination of the cost of the inventory.
• Batch tracking helps in helps in controlling the quality.
• Perpetual inventory deals with the counting of the inventory as and when they arrive.
• Just-in-time and Drop-shipping enables the purchase of the item as per the need. In case of cross-docking technique goods are hardly stored as they get unloaded to outbound trucks directly.

What is StoreFresh Fulfilment Centre?

A warehouse with complete management is called a StoreFresh Fulfilment Centre. In a layman’s point-of-view, physical spot from where we as a third-party logistics provider fulfils various orders of the customers for the ecommerce retailers. The very existence of StoreFresh fulfilment / delivery centers is to ensure timely delivery of orders to customers and relieve this burden off the shoulders of the ecommerce companies. Our service includes setting up the warehouse, investing in the infrastructure, receiving the materials from different vendors (Sellers on ecommerce portals), doing the quality-checks, sorting, storing, picking-packing, dispatching, etc. We are also responsible for reverse logistics, and payment collection.

What are the technology used by StoreFresh in Fulfilment Centres?

Our adoption of technology and automated processes differentiates us within the supply-chain industry in India. We are at the forefront in bringing automation to meet client-specific needs. We have made investments to implement technology and processes in order to increase capacity and operating efficiency, thereby improving profitability and allowing us to customize services to suit requirements of our customers.
• High Speed Cross Belt Sortation System
• Inbound Automation
• Outbound Automation
• Picking Process
• Put- to- light Sortation System
• Warehouse Management System (WMS)