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A Guide On 3PL Logistics Warehousing

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3PL logistics companies partner with businesses to offer transport, distribution, and warehousing services. The warehousing function is a critical aspect when hiring a 3PL company. Below are some pointers to help you examine a 3PL's warehousing operations. 

Check The Available Warehouses

Assess the warehouses owned by the 3PL company. For instance:

  • What type of warehouses does the 3PL provide? For instance, you might need a bonded warehouse if you run an export business. An on-demand warehouse comes in handy when storing some inventory on your premises.
  • Does the company lease entire warehouses, or do you lease space inside the warehouse? It is an essential concern if your business needs small storage space.
  • Does the company own the warehouse, or does it rent them from third parties? If it rents the warehouses, inquire about maintenance and operations arrangements.
  • What is the location of the different warehouses? The general rule is to ensure the warehouse is along your distribution routes. 

Assess The Warehouse Operations

Your next concern would be how the company's warehouses operate. After all, your items will spend a considerable time at the facility. Start by evaluating the competence of the warehousing staff. For instance, do they have adequate training and experience in warehouse management? Then assess the available warehouse resources. Modern warehouses must have state-of-the-equipment such as forklifts, pallet jacks, dollies, and industrial refrigerators. 

Moreover, they must integrate the latest technology, such as warehouse management systems and predictive assets lifecycle management software. They go a long way in easing warehouse management. For instance, these systems can give real-time updates on the inventory available at the warehouse. Further, they give instant reports when your clients pick up their orders. Finally, assess the services available at the warehouse. For example, you might want a packaging and distribution centre to ease pressure at your production facility. 

Read and Negotiate The Engagement Contract 

Once your preferred 3PL meets the above eligibility criteria, ask the company to draft an engagement contract. Read the conditions of this agreement to establish whether it suits your business needs. For instance, check whether the company takes liability for products stored on its premises. Reputable 3PL companies have adequate insurance. However, they prepare thorough documentation during pick-up and transport to help establish liability. Then, evaluate the storage costs. If possible, the 3PL should have standard pricing that should be adjusted depending on the volume of products stored. 

When choosing a 3PL company, assess its warehouses, operations, and the conditions of the engagement contract. For more information on 3PL logistics warehousing, contact a professional near you.