Top 5 Key Roles of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Supplier

Third-party logistics (3PL logistics) suppliers are external service providers to meet end-to-end logistics requirements of businesses, right from procurement and warehousing to shipment tracking and returns of goods. It is a booming industry in the supply chain management system. According to a report by Research and Markets, the 3PL logistics market is expected to grow by USD 10.74 billion during the forecast period 2021-2025 at a CAGR of almost 8%.

An increasing number of organizations are outsourcing their logistics to these suppliers to save costs and time, and scale their business growth. 3PL suppliers perform the following key roles:



As inventory, commodities are stored safely by 3PL providers until they need to be transferred or delivered somewhere else. Each commodity must have a Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) assigned to it in order to be tracked in software for quick identification and retrieval. Additionally, the suppliers provide particular storage facilities for goods that are expensive, delicate, volatile, or need careful handling and storage.

The storage of highly perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy, beverages, frozen desserts, meat, seafood, vaccines, and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals is also covered by comprehensive cold chain management services and in-transit monitoring. To preserve their temperature, quality, and safety, such products require cold chain management, including cold rooms, chillers, freezers, thermal and refrigerated packaging, and refrigerated trucks.


Inventory Management

The whole planning, controlling, and distribution of the commodities that come into and leave the warehouse is handled by 3PL logistics companies. Through special identifying numbers, serial numbers, batch numbers, prices, etc., they manage inventory. To track the flow of inventory at each stage, they keep a record of the precise time and date. Additionally, they make sure that merchandise is shielded from damage such as theft and rotting. The warehouse functions like a well-oiled machine thanks to effective inventory management, which also guarantees client satisfaction.


Drive-Through and Drive-In Racks

For high-density storage, drive-in and drive-through racks work perfectly. These warehouse racking systems, which are typically made of steel, provide space for a forklift to enter its bay. Drive-in racks are therefore ideal for the last-in, first-out (LIFO) system, which is well known for non-perishable or low-turnover commodities. A drive-through system, on the other hand, requires a first-in, first-out (FIFO) approach.



Transport is included in the range of services offered by 3PL supply chain companies. They get the products from the supplier, move them to the warehouse, and then send them once again to the final recipients or to other locations. Depending on the type of goods or the customers’ needs, they could use different means of transportation like land, air, or sea. Choosing the optimal delivery route and cost-effectively packaging the items are additional transportation services that may be provided.


VAS and Custom Clearance

Customs clearance is required when goods are exported or imported between nations. According to the local rules, businesses must submit the required paperwork, obtain various approvals, and complete several formalities. Businesses may find this to be a laborious chore. Custom clearance services and value-added services including pre- and post-shipment formalities, duty-paid deliveries, documentation verification, the release of a shipment, etc. are areas of expertise for 3PL businesses.

Ensure that the 3PL supplier you select has a comprehensive array of services. Most of the 3PL firms, offers not only the aforementioned services but also goes above and beyond. It provides value-added services like packing, labelling, sorting, filling, tagging, bundling, assembling and kitting, among many others. An aspirant who had pursued one of the Logistics Courses in Kerala can easily perform all of the above duties like an expert.

Technology Information

These days, real-time tracking of products and services as well as the entire network is essential. When contacting a 3PL service provider, many customers ask about this service. Customers of a Good Company can control their whole network in real-time and obtain critical information thanks to the latest developments in software and information technology network. They can give their customers insight and transparency thanks to their web-enabled supply chain information technology solutions. Among the IT services for supply chain management provided by some of the companies are ERP WMS integration, automated and on-demand MIS, and a mobile application for order punching by the sales staff. Any candidate who had completed one of the Diploma Courses in Logistics can easily handle these. There are many institutes like, SLMT at Kochi that provides best Logistics Courses in Kerala

While you concentrate on your core strengths, a 3PL provider may take care of your logistics needs.

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