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Briefly describe the role of the Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL). What advantages do 3PLs bring ?  Are there any disadvantages to a company in outsourcing its logistics functions to a 3PL?

Student Response 


Hello Class,
Briefly describe the role of the Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL). What advantages do 3PLs bring ?  Are there any disadvantages to a company in outsourcing its logistics functions to a 3PL?
                During this week’s lesson we learned about Third Party Logistics Provider’s (3PL) and what they can bring to the table for a company. 3PL’s are outsourced companies that handle a large amount of an organization’s logistical needs. For example, the company I previously worked for would ship a lot of smaller items all over the country via trucks and vans. We would mainly use our own vehicles and drivers during the day but towards the end of the day we would utilize different 3PL’s. As our drivers would leave for the day, there would still be constant calls coming from our clients. In order to fulfill those requests we would need to use outsourced parties. There was a ton of benefits to using these outsourced parties but with the good there is always the bad. The major benefit in utilizing these 3PL’s was we were able to continue running our business throughout the night, allowing some of our own drivers to get the rest they needed to continue operations the following day. We were able to keep business going throughout the night with the limited drivers my own company had and the outsourced vendors. But as I mentioned the good was concurrent with the bad. Some of the problems with the outsourced vendors we would use would be accuracy, attention to detail, timeliness, performance, and the list could go on. Having other parties involved representing your own company can be a struggle and it’s a good idea to really pay attention to who you choose to represent your organization. 


Third party logistics provider provide a overall one stop shopping source for supply chain, logistics, and transportation services. “Similar to general contractors and how they coordinate the activities of multiple sub contractors to get a house built, third party logistics providers do the same in respect to the supply chain”. Third party logistics providers provide services for companies that decide to choose to outsource the logistic portion of there order or part of the process. Some benefits of using Third party logistic providers are that they allow companies to focus on what they do best and there core competencies . Another benefit of using third party logistics providers is that you will most likely have low overall supply chain costs. The supply chain expertise is also a benefit of using third party logistic providers.  Third party logistics providers generally offer from door to door distribution and different delivery capabilities . Sea freight and Air Freight . Third party logistics providers also offer freight forwarding and customs house brokerage. 
In my opinion I don’t think there many disadvantages when actually using a third party logistics provider They can be very affordable especially sea freight which is very economic compared to air freight that can cost up to 9 times more than sea freight. Third party logistic providers have the expertise needed to have a successful importation or exportation to a client anxiously waiting for its product or merchandise. In my opinion its best to let the experts handle it, they know what there doing and deal with different situations daily. 

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