The e-commerce explosion in the 000’s has launched a tremendous amount of focus on 3PL and the logistics industry at large. With customer demand soaring into unprecedented territories and companies keeping up with the ever-changing landscape and wildly inventive innovations in the technology sector.
The logistics industry and with it, notably 3PL (third party logistics) has had to adjust rather fast to the worldwide marketplace, with shipping routes, delivery times, and overall business being incrementally boosted.
As more industries look to ship and transport their products and wares to clients and customers around the globe, it is up to these divisions of the supply chain to maintain a rigorous focus on maintaining smooth movement and ease of use to ensure that these global mechanisms continue to function optimally.
The Necessity of Good 3PL Providers
With or without technology, the role that a solid 3PL provider gives to the overall supply chain mechanism cannot be overstated. This is especially true for smaller scale enterprises that cannot afford to get bogged down in red tape and miniscule, but important, factors in the process. For a 3PL provider to excel in the field and not be left behind, there is a necessity for scalability, adaptability and maintaining an understanding on the latest technology trends and releases that could benefit the business and their clients in the long term.
There is quite a lot of innovation occurring in the logistics space that has made a massive impact on 3PL as a means of effectively boosting efficacy and efficiency. If the e-commerce boom and continual rise of international marketplaces keeps the pace, it is beholden to good and trustworthy 3PL providers to keep the supply chain moving without squeaks.
Technology has to be adopted, and you cannot have third party logistics without a solid foundation of technology.
Technology Shifts & Improvements
So, what sort of technology are we talking about when it comes to 3PL and the logistics. There are the obvious examples of transportation upgrades and storage capabilities being extended and strengthened. This gives warehousing a better safety standard and overall efficiency when pressures are mounted.
With 3PL, the transportation is a vital aspect to the whole process, and there are some increasingly interesting methods of having an edge for 3PL providers that are staying up to date with technology. The use of more advanced tracking systems and quality control, especially in the food industry has been turning a lot of heads and boosted the profile of many 3PL vendors.
Speaking of quality control, there are wonderful updates occurring in the IoT (internet of things) space that have great and exceptional relevance to the operations of a third-party logistics provider. With IoT, the use of RFID tags has allowed an unprecedented level of tracking to occur on purchases and transported goods that can keep an eye on more than just the location.
Factors such as condition, temperature, quality and even humidity – this negates the often dreaded ‘lost’ status on packages and products in transit.
Technology is not just limited to this, but small steps in the process have allowed some providers to excel in the field and maintain a healthy competitive edge.
Automation & The Future
There can only be speculation as to where the logistics industry will go when it comes time to introduce more advanced measures like AI and Automation and what impact that could potentially have on the industry for good or ill. There is an interesting consideration though, where there is a market that requires efficiency, there is a third-party logistics company that has the motivation and experience to get it done. We can’t wait to see what happens next.