What do logistics companies offer
Some might wonder what are logistics companies. Until this day the definition is not very well understood. In the beginning the term was used to describe the process of moving goods from point A to Point B which in most cases involved shipping of goods from point of origin to destination by means of Ocean, air or inland or a combination.
The process involved picking up the cargo transporting to the port, shipping to destination, clearing customs and delivering to final destination.
Those were the old days. The process has evolved to include other activities such as compliance, distribution of the product and even handling some of the services such as customer services.
Many retailers and distributors started using these available sources to augment their own shipping department services in order to focus on their core activities, this gave rise to 3PL Companies.
Logistics is not what it was before, it is not only shipping, it is an integral part of the supply chain. Logistics providers add more and more services to their arsenal of services in order to be able to compete in a tough business. You can call it value added services.
Some Logistics companies have embraced technology where they are able to offer their customers the means to be able to track their shipments, monitor their inventory levels at the warehouse, and give total visibility as the movement of items minute by minute. In essence logistics companies have become to many importers, distributors and retailers.
Over the years we have seen many large freight forwarding companies evolve into Third party logistics companies which compete for business aggressively. They are able to handle the needs of very large retailers and distributors however; they are still struggling in gaining the trust on smaller businesses. The cost of outsourcing logistics to such large companies is too high for smaller distributors and that gave rise to smaller 3pl’s who can offer better rates and a more personalized service.
The decision to go with one logistics company or another depends on need, services and rate.