Think of third-party logistics, or 3PL, as the helping hand up when you and a friend are trying to climb a steep obstruction. A 3PL is an outsourced provider that offers logistics services for just about every facet you need, from warehousing your products to packaging them and getting them to their final destination. When you are in need of or having trouble with moving a shipment from Point A to Point B, a 3PL can be your go-to. Without them, a lot of smaller companies wouldn’t stay in business.
When dealing with a port like the massive one in Savannah, Georgia, many businesses would be at a loss. That’s where an experienced 3PL can come in. The COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions caused challenges for the Port of Savannah, challenges like the supply chain disruptions that left ships at anchor and containers lingering at the port’s docks. When dealing with an extensive facility and a labyrinth of logistics concerns, it’s best to have someone on your side who knows the territory. That’s why a 3PL with experience in dealing with the Port of Savannah is an ideal partner. In this blog, we will go over what features you need to consider when choosing a 3PL partner and, more specifically, what you need from a 3PL when it comes to dealing with the Port of Savannah. Finally, we will examine the essentials required to establish a successful 3PL partnership.
Considerations When Choosing a 3PL Partner
All 3PLs are focused on transportation, shipping, and warehousing. All three are still crucial to what partnering with a 3PL is all about, but over the years, 3PLs have added a host of other services to entice customers in what has become a competitive industry. So let’s take a look at the whole picture and what qualities you might want to consider when eyeing a third-party logistics partner.
What kinds of services does your potential 3PL partner have that can keep up with changing needs? They might perform well in one service area, but when you look to change things, will they have the knowledge and ability to keep up? If you are getting bigger, will they have the scalability to keep up with your product shipping needs? One particular 3PL, Port Jersey Logistics, has the capability, capacity, and added services that give you plenty of options if your market expands or changes. Port Jersey can take care of a wide range of products, including consumer-packaged goods, specialty foods, food ingredients, health and personal care products, and alcoholic beverages.
Stability and Experience
It’s important to find a 3PL that has been around the block and has proven itself over many years. If you have a partner that’s solid as a rock no matter what obstacles are thrown at them and is always adapting to a constantly evolving industry, then you also gain confidence. Port Jersey Logistics has been offering its expertise along with state-of-the-art systems and facilities for over seven decades.
Having a well-respected partner (i.e., happy customers, vendors, employees, and other partners) can also benefit your company in many ways. Their stature makes everyone want to work with them and, in turn, you because of their reliability and fair dealing. It can also help because they can often get better deals because others know they are reliable and because they often deal in bulk rates. One of the pillars upon which Port Jersey Logistics started its company in 1954 was on building a reputation for quality and reliability. They continue to build on that reputation every day.
Whether a 3PL is going to be involved in your customer service or not, it is certainly going to have an effect on a two-way street. How the 3PL acts toward the customer or client will reflect on your company. If the 3PL handles customer service, then you expect them to quickly respond to and resolve any concerns.
If there is one area where state-of-the-art needs to be a must, it is technology. Because technology is so interwoven in just about every part of logistics and it is a clear path to improving the quality and speed of production and transportation, a 3PL needs to be using the latest technology to integrate any systems to help all parties make quick, informed decisions.
From using SKUs in packaging to returns management, Port Jersey Logistics is staying on top of technology to improve your product’s journey.
Safety and Security
Safety usually mirrors overall performance. So a reliable 3PL will always stay on top of safety advancements and keep up with compliance on any regulations. That is also true of keeping financial and other information secure, especially concerning technology and data pools.
Many 3PLs offer more specific features that can be specialized to the customer. They can be anything from providing solutions that integrate seamlessly with your supply chain to packaging and shipping that caters to the unique requests of the customers. Offering the same personal service and attention to detail can make the 3PL an extension of your brand. Some examples of customization at Port Jersey Logistics include packaging with tracking, blister pack packaging, personalized items, and special add-on labels for different retailers or government regulatory agencies.
We have talked about all the things that can or should be done as part of the regular service of a 3PL, but one area that should also be considered is when things don’t go as planned. How a 3PL responds when a problem arises shows both its ability to improvise on the fly and that it is a solid enough partner to be there when everything isn’t going swimmingly.
Finding That Local 3PL Connection in Savannah
The Port of Savannah is busy and getting busier. The port, located 18 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean on the Savannah River, is one of the four busiest seaports in the United States and is considered the fastest-growing container terminal in the country. In 2022, it handled a record 5.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Those numbers make it pretty clear why it’s essential to have a third-party logistics connection from the Savannah area. Let’s go over some reasons why you should go with a local 3PL.
- Local resources: Nothing beats having a local connection that knows everyone in the area and what it takes to get things done in their neck of the woods. Plus, having a 3PL with a warehouse in the area means shipments can hold there before being distributed throughout the Southeast.
- Regulations and requirements: Every port has its own set of rules. The Port of Savannah is no different, and having someone familiar with those regulations will be a great benefit. Trying to deal with regulations and requirements when you don’t know the people in charge and have no personal connection with them can make getting things done rather difficult. A familiar face, in the form of your 3PL partner, can make a great deal of difference.
- Challenges and opportunities in the area: While the Port of Savannah is continuing to expand, there can often be delays — there was a backup of 40 container ships at sea waiting to be cleared at one point in 2022. That‘s when a local 3PL can be extremely helpful in keeping you updated and making sure the shipments can be moved when the containers make land and are unloaded.
- 3PL partners in Savannah: As you would expect in an area with such a bustling port, there are quite a few 3PLs in eastern Georgia. Here are some of the top names in the area: TRT International, Port City Logistics, and the Coastal Logistics Group.
Establishing a Successful 3PL Partnership
No matter where you are trying to find a third-party logistics partnership, there are some things that you need to have settled before taking on a partner.
- Define roles and responsibilities: There needs to be a clear delineation of what areas or specific tasks the 3PL will be in charge of. 3PLs can handle most of the duties in logistics, but that doesn’t mean you have to hand them all over. Make sure your 3PL is willing to work with you.
- Establish communication procedures: When dealing with a 3PL that is in one place, like Savannah, when you are in another place that can be on the other side of the country, it is imperative that communication lines be open with everyone knowing what their role will be.
- Set performance metrics: Know what you are expecting from your 3PL. It helps to have some ways to determine if the 3PL is working for you and doing all the things you expect of them. Setting a standard that needs to be met is a great way to start.
Port Jersey is the Smart Move When You Need a 3PL
The Port of Savannah has become one of the biggest players in the shipping industry. And it’s in the process of growing even bigger. That’s why finding the right third-party logistics partner in that area to help you with your needs and provide first-hand knowledge of the region is such a smart move. Another smart move is linking up with Port Jersey Logistics, a second-generation family-owned and operated 3PL. Since 1954, Port Jersey Logistics has offered excellent 3PL services, particularly in the food and beverage, food ingredients, CPG, health and beauty, and wine/spirits industries. To check out our wide array of services, please visit our website today.