With the holidays right around the corner retailers, are gearing up to serve the masses as they shop for last minute gifts. This year, Americans are expected to spend north of 650 billion dollars on holiday gifts. Online shopping is also expected to increase by at least 10%. With expanded shipping services, gift wrap options and packaging requirements how are retailers keeping up with the huge demand?
Partnering with a quality third-party logistics company has been the solution for companies of all sizes. The largest online retailer in the world uses a 3PL to deliver packing material for their shipments and even utilizes a third party to make deliveries to their customer.
What 3PL services help retailers with the holiday rush?
Ecommerce fulfillment and shipping
Shipping directly to the consumer is a huge job taken on by many different types of 3PLs. Full-service providers have the ability handle full truckload orders, but can also pick, pack and ship small orders for clients of all sizes. Other providers may specialize in small orders that go directly to the consumer.
3PLs can handle the storage, set up and distribution of promotional items such as aisle end caps or other marketing materials. These promotional items are generally sent to many stores throughout the nation to keep marketing consistent for the big box retailers.
Keeping up with packaging requirements is an extremely large job for online retailers such as Amazon or Jet.com. 3PLs throughout the nation work with packaging suppliers to ensure that the correct packing is available for every type of shipment. This is generally a 24/7 operation during the holiday season to keep up with high demand.
Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers all need some overflow storage at one point or another. With changes in busy seasons and customer demand fluctuating for many different items, floor space is at a premium within manufacturing facilities and DCs for large retailers. Utilizing a 3PL for overflow storage ensures that product is safely moved off-site so that you can focus on your core competencies.
Imported goods are moved from shipping containers to vans or less than truckload (LTL) shipments for delivery to retailers. Product is imported from overseas in containers that are stuffed to utilize the space most effectively. Many times companies cannot receive containers and require that product must be sorted, palletized and shipped to specific facilities. To transload a shipment, a 3PL receives the container and unloads, sorts and palletizes the product to the retailer’s requirements.
As consumer demand grows larger and larger, 3PLs will continue to innovate and serve customers in new and exciting ways! Check out our services page to see how we can help your operation.