The proper coordination of a company’s logistics can be decisive for the company’s long term activity, particularly the order preparation stage, which is essential.
However, this logistics can sometimes be a constraint for e-commerce professionals. This is why logistics platforms (or logisticians) have been developed in recent years to enable e-merchants to save time and focus on developing their business.
Find out in this article the specificities of logistics platforms and why you should use them.
Logistics platform: definition
A logistics platform is a place where parcels from different suppliers are brought together. There are two types of logistics platform: 3PL (third party logistics) warehouses where the parcels can remain in storage at the logistics provider’s premises and only be sent once the products have been sold, or they can transit rapidly through the platform. This is known as cross docking.
What is 3PL?
Third party logistics, more commonly known as 3PL, is outsourced logistics. E-retailers outsource their storage, order preparation and goods transport tasks to specialist logisticians.
What is cross docking?
Cross docking allows the transfer of goods from the unloading platform directly to the shipping dock, without going through storage. This is made possible by labelling, which allows quick identification. However, the packages must meet certain size standards, which is why cross-docking is mainly used in the retail sector or, for example, for the delivery of newspapers.
What operations are carried out on a logistics platform?
The operations carried out by the logistics provider are many and varied, such as receiving goods, storing products, and packaging and packing them. Logistics platforms are also able to handle the preparation of orders, and the follow-up and routing of these to the final recipient.
The advantages and disadvantages of using a 3PL provider
A smooth supply chain takes time and effort, so using a logistics provider can make your life easier.
It allows you to focus on other projects that can grow your business, such as purchasing, sales and marketing.
You can also save money through shared transport rates offered by some logistics providers such as Ezytail, or through more competitive shipping prices.
Logistics platforms have several storage warehouses that allow goods to be stored closer to the end customer and thus deliver to the latter in a much shorter time.
On the other hand, outsourcing your logistics can make you dependent on them and therefore you will not have the control to improve or reduce costs.
In conclusion, if the logistics in your company are not optimal, do not hesitate to delegate them to professionals. This will allow you to save time and satisfy your customers thanks to the speed and fluidity of the logisticians. A winning partnership and guaranteed profitability.