a truck driving down a highway surrounded by sunlight

Logistics are the foundation of any well-run company, but there is a divergence of opinions on whether or not to run logistics with an internal team. In short, it can be inherently intimidating to decide whether or not you should outsource your logistics and transportation operations.

To this point, it’s understandable to want to keep your logistics operations in-house; after all, you know your company’s capabilities, struggles, and resources better than anyone else. With that being said, your company may not have all of the capabilities and resources it needs in order to effectively and efficiently accomplish its goals for the quarter – which is where 3PL companies can be a useful solution.

Knowing When to Outsource 

The primary factor that drives a company to outsource its logistics operations is complexity – and not just complexity in the operations themselves, but the ever-increasing complexity of transport technology, warehousing practices, and government regulations. Individually, these concerns can be burdensome to a company, but the intersection of them can prove downright overwhelming.
It can be difficult to know when it’s time to start considering an outsourced logistics solution. However, answering “yes” to any of the following questions might be a sign:

  • Am I spending more time, money, and resources on logistics than I used to?
  • Have our current systems consistently resulted in lost revenue or damaged products?
  • Is my team constantly overtaxed and exhausted from trying to fix logistical problems?
  • Is there a government regulation that we do not know how to address, or come into compliance with?
  • Can our supply chain handle a sudden interruption of service or materials?
  • Where can we cut overhead costs and eliminate unnecessary spend?

A 3PL company can provide a one-stop-shop solution to all of the various problems that 21st-century logistics and transportation can pose.

What to Know About Outsourcing

When you outsource your logistics to a 3PL company, it’s tempting to think of the relationship as one of client-service provider. While this is true in the sense that you’re paying a company for a specific set of services, the workload of logistics management requires much more active involvement from both halves of the equation. Thus, it can often be logistically-healthier to think of your relationship with a 3PL service provider as being partners, working towards a common goal for the benefit of both.

Before you begin the outsourcing process, it’s critical to understand precisely what your company would like to achieve by outsourcing your logistics. You may find it beneficial to ask yourself and your team:

  • What are the biggest problems we are hoping to solve by outsourcing?
  • What can our 3PL service provider do, that we currently cannot?
  • How can we measure the success of our 3PL service provider?
  • How long would we like to use this 3PL solution? 

We’re Here to Help

National Retail Systems is ready to handle all of your 3PL, including supply chain management, consolidation, drayage, and more. We’ve been a guiding force behind supply chains for over 65 years, and pride ourselves on thorough, reliable 3PL service. Our team is dedicated to organizing flexible and robust supply chain systems with a commitment to transparency and professionalism. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business run more smoothly and streamline transportation.

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.