Location is not something shippers can afford to overlook when it comes to optimizing their distribution strategies. Like any industry, organizational proximity to target consumers plays a huge role in determining the success of a company. This is why it’s important to find a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that has the proper network reach and asset utilization that can enable growth, increase profits, and even decrease a shipper’s carbon footprint.

A desirable location isn’t the only factor that shippers should focus on, however, when considering their warehousing and order fulfillment needs. Value-added logistics also involves processes like automated picking and packaging services that make product distribution more effective, whether it’s B2B or B2C. With hands-on care and attention from the right 3PL, you can transform the way your inventory is managed and watch as your bottom line benefits.

Make Sure Your 3PL Offers

A network of facilities built specifically to provide the most cost-effective points of entry to the U.S. marketplace — both in terms of shipping costs and time in transit to end customers. For example, warehousing facilities that are strategically located near popular shipping hubs such as the New Jersey Turnpike, Port of Savannah, the Inland Empire, and the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach create a bicoastal distribution footprint for shippers.

Why go bicoastal though? It’s pretty simple: When you have the ability to use both coasts, you can close the gaps between your products and your target consumers and experience huge costs savings among many other significant advantages.

Crucial value-added services that will shorten your last mile, enhance real-time insight, increase flexibility, and improve the reliability of your deliveries. Here are some of the most current examples of leading warehousing and distribution solutions:

  • Cross-docking and transloading opportunities
  • Omni-channel distribution
  • RF-enabled software
  • Pick and pack replenishment
  • Same-day drop-ship fulfillment and shipping
  • Kitting/co-packing services
  • Vendor managed inventory
  • Bulk/oversized capabilities
  • Retail consolidation practices
  • Food grade warehouse certifications
  • Optimized small parcel contracts and discounts
  • Real-time small parcel track & trace
  • Shipping cart integrations
  • Full EDI and API connectivity
  • WMS and inventory management reporting

With extra support from best-in-class technology, your logistics partner can also better manage your supply chain from end to end, so you can improve your service to your customers regardless of if they’re brick-and-mortar retailers or Amazon. Order fulfillment is the final link to your end customers, so it should be prioritized.

Warehouses with impressive features, including but not limited to clear ceilings, a multitude of dock doors, 24-hour surveillance, guard services, narrow aisle pallet racking, and a fully secured container yard. It also won’t hurt to identify sites that specialize in services specific to your unique business processes.

The location of your warehouses will not only determine a product’s speed to market, but it will also lower the potential for delays and streamline more complex processes like returns by increasing the convenience factor. Furthermore, when you integrate leading value-added services that cut out wasteful warehousing practices, you’re only working to maximize your operational efficiency while also keeping your customer base satisfied.