This is the first in a series of informational briefs intended to share knowledge among the manufacturing and logistics industries. This first brief is intentionally basic in nature, but future posts will increasingly be more advanced- so please stop back. Feel free to give feedback or let us know if you would like to contribute your knowledge to future posts.
What exactly is 3PL, or Third Party Logistics?
Manufacturing in its most basic form involves three components:
• The shipping of raw materials in
• Manufacturing of goods
• The shipping of goods to the customer
Two of these three components, the shipping of goods and raw materials, involve what is commonly referred to as logistics, generally meaning the movement of things between point a and point b. Logistics often involves numerous components: warehousing, trucking, distribution, tracking, and more. 3PL is simply the outsourcing of logistics to a company that specializes in logistics. 3PL providers are different than a trucking or a warehouse company in that a 3PL provider will deliver an integrated service that facilitates more than just trucking or warehousing. 3PL can potentially manage and facilitate all services required to either deliver a raw material to the client, or deliver a good from the client to the customer. Next week we will discuss why manufacturers are increasingly utilizing 3PL services.