The Third-Party Logistics (3PL) industry plays a central role in managing domestic and global supply chains. With approximately 35,000 jobs in the United States (not including warehouse employees), 3PL providers help companies lower transportation costs, improve on-time performance, and even reduce carbon emissions by increasing cargo weight and running fewer shipping routes.
Both shippers and carriers benefit from 3PL. For shippers, inefficiencies mean higher costs, and utilizing 3PL outsourcing allows them to plan strategically to control costs, while leaving their employees free to focus on core competencies.
For carriers, especially smaller trucking companies, 3PL providers often serve as a lifeline to new business, especially in an environment where many shippers prefer to save management costs by working with fewer carriers. By leveraging considerable investments in personnel and technology on behalf of trucking companies, 3PL helps them secure loads they otherwise might not know about or be able to bid for.
This paper examines different aspects of the 3PL industry, and its unique benefits for companies seeking to manage their supply chains more efficiently.
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