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Logistics for the Logisticians: Expedited Air & Ground Services for 3PL Providers

“Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics.” This maxim refers to military planning, but it could just as easily be applied to modern business. Logistics is essential for success in any industry, but it has become so complex in recent years that many businesses have given up trying to handle it internally. Instead, they decide to leave it to the professionals, contracting with third-party logistics or 3PL businesses to take care of the transportation, warehousing, and broader supply chain management. 3PL businesses benefit from greater specialization, direct experience, and the ability to invest in a large enough amount of logistics resources to benefit from economies of scale. They thus achieve far safer, timelier, and more affordable logistical outcomes than is possible for any business that doesn’t specialize in this field.

Industry Statistics

90%

Of Fortune 500 companies that use a 3PL partner

86

Of shippers who said their 3PL partner has improved their customer service

75%

Of shippers who said their 3PL partner has reduced their overall logistics costs

71

Of shippers who said their 3PL partner helped with new customer acquisition

AirFreight.com by the Numbers

#1

Shipping, Trucking & Logistics Company on TrustPilot.com

4.9/5

from 1,140+ verified reviews on TrustPilot.com

50,000+

Traceable delivery vehicles

24/7/365

Support and tracking information
3PL Business

As with many expanding industries, however, 3PL businesses’ success has created new challenges.

Ironically, these businesses have found themselves dealing with logistical mishaps, as expanding demand requires them to provide services beyond what their existing infrastructure can handle. 3PL companies have been expanding their resources to cope with this new demand, but in the meantime, it can be difficult to stay ahead of their obligations. It’s in this situation that expedited freight providers become essential.

Expedited Freight Solutions

AirFreight.com offers the gold standard in expedited freight solutions.

As an emergency delivery broker, we’re used to helping companies out of logistical jams, and have no trouble providing that help to companies whose own business is logistics. We provide an enormous network of cargo airline affiliates that give us the ability to fly items out of any city in North America, whether on scheduled flights or on new flights we chartered just for the job. Added to this mix is our network of trucking affiliates, who can fill in the trip to and from the airport for air deliveries or complete the entire delivery on the ground. Through these resources and our centralized planning operations, we help 3PL providers overcome all the challenges of their industry, including:

Warehousing Woes

Warehousing Woes

One of the biggest barriers to expansion in the 3PL industry is a lack of inventory space. 3PL companies often hold onto items for an extended period of time, requiring them to buy or rent warehouses suited to hold those items. As demand grows, so must the amount of available space grow in tandem, and 3PL businesses have to be careful to avoid both paying for space they don’t use and failing to obtain the amount of space they need. This is ordinarily no problem, and 3PL businesses expand and contract their available warehouse space in tandem with need. But when there’s a sudden shock to the system— say, a client who suddenly demands a lager delivery than they usually order, or a truckload that needs to stay in its warehouse longer because the original delivery didn’t work out— 3PL businesses often have to scramble to find the space for all their inventory.

3PL Coverage Network

Our Coverage Network

AirFreight.com takes the pressure off of 3PL companies’ warehousing needs. Thanks to our enormous web of cargo airline affiliates, truckers, and vehicles, we have the ability to reach any payload on the continent, load it up, and deliver it to its destination anywhere else on the continent, all within 24 hours. This means that if one of your clients places a larger order than your local warehouses will be able to hold, AirFreight.com can go ahead and deliver the excess items, either to another warehouse or directly to the client. Likewise, if one of your standard deliveries falls through and you don’t have the space to hold onto it until you can organize another one, we can go ahead and deliver it for you that same day. By keeping your items moving even in the face of disruptive deliveries and unstable demand, we make sure you never have more inventory on hand than your storage capacity can handle.

Changing Weather Conditions

By having the right plans, parts, people and logistics partner like AirFreight.com, you can effectively mitigate plant or pump downtime, unscheduled disruptions and equipment failures. Here’s how we do it.

3PL Provider Shipping Challenges

3PL Provider Shipping Challenges

Experienced 3PL providers know how to minimize the potential for weather to disrupt their plans, notably by planning their deliveries in such a way that they don’t avoid areas with frequent storms or ice during the particular season when they’re making a delivery. But between the changing climate and the inherent unpredictability of inclement weather, no company can ever make 100% sure that their shipment won’t get disrupted. Thus, sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself with a payload of items that you can’t get to the destination on the ordinary route.

Finding the Best Route

Finding the Best Route

AirFreight.com is adept at finding the extraordinary route you need to avoid the weather. Our team includes a centralized planning office that has access to all the most advanced meteorological data in North America. Using this data, we can find routes that aren’t affected by sudden storms and freezes, and will thereby quickly put together an emergency route for any of your clients’ items that you find yourself unable to deliver. The sheer size and variety of our network also reinforces our operations against weather changes. Having both airline and trucking affiliates means that if there’s some form of weather that makes one delivery method infeasible, we’ll be able to use the other. And having so many successful cargo companies and experienced drivers in our network means we can easily find people with the expertise to deliver safely and swiftly under all conditions.

Keeping in Contact

Keeping in Contact

Because 3PL companies carry their clients’ most important inventory, those clients often aren’t content to just hand the items off and hope for the best. Instead, clients expect regular updates from their 3PL providers, and often call those providers directly if the updates aren’t quick or comprehensive enough. It’s important, then, for 3PL providers to maintain efficient and open communications with their customers, and the most successful such businesses make contact a priority. But like all other priorities, communication is scrambled when 3PL providers suffer a logistical mishap and have to turn to expedited freight providers. In these situations, 3PL providers have to first get information from their expedited partner before they can pass it on to the customer, leading to a confusing game of “telephone.”

Regular Updates

Regular Updates

AirFreight.com avoids the confusing “telephone” games by staying in regular contact with all our clients, including 3PL companies. From the moment we load up your items until the moment we’ve delivered them, we give you detailed updates on those items' location, condition, and estimated delivery time. We also have a central line that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which you can call at any time for more detailed updates on your order. This way, you’ll never be short on information to pass on to your customers, leaving the communication chain complete.

Tracking in Real Time

As 3PL operations expand, they become more complex.

Complex Timelines

Complex Timelines

It’s not uncommon for a 3PL provider to have hundreds of trucks on the road or planes in the air at any given time, with each vehicle having complex timelines for delivering, handing off, or storing the items they’re carrying. Such a complex operation is inevitable if you want to do business on a large scale and serve a wide variety of customers, each with unique delivery needs. But the more complicated it gets, the more likely it is to become unmanageable, or at least difficult to manage consistently. Even under the best of circumstances, you’re likely to lose track of a truck or plane from time to time, making it difficult to react quickly if that vehicle doesn’t make its delivery on time.

Advanced Tech

Advanced Tech

AirFreight.com’s vast resources and advanced tech leave us in the perfect position to make up for any parts of your 3PL chain you lose track of. The moment you realize that some part of your network didn’t complete their portion of the delivery, you can just call us up and trust us to fill in the gaps. Because our vehicles are spread so widely across North America, we can easily identify a truck close to the location of your items and dispatch it to pick those items up. Once we have the items, we’ll get right on the road toward their destination, and will use our centralized tracking and planning infrastructure to make sure it stays on the fastest, most reliable route.

Scheduled and Charter Flights

Scheduled and Charter Flights

If the destination in question is an airport, we’ll either get it there in time for its flight or, if the flight has already left, schedule space for it on another flight to its final destination. If scheduled flights are limited, we can charter a new flight specifically for your items. One way or another, we’ll complete the delivery and make sure that a momentary lapse in your system never gets out of hand.

Industries We Serve

Aviation & Aerospace

Every moment a commercial airliner sits on the ground, it costs an airline money. Expedited freight services by AirFreight.com can get you back in the air with the prompt delivery of parts and equipment throughout North America.
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Construction

Since one shipping delay can snowball and cause delays throughout your entire project, you need an experienced 3PL provider who understands the construction industry and has the logistical reach to deliver your freight on time, anywhere. That 3PL partner is AirFreight.com.
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Energy

The consequences from lost power production are serious for any business. Equipment failure is one of the biggest causes of energy production downtime. Losses compound exponentially with the delay or loss of energy capacity or the idling of plants for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. Whether it is a hydroelectric power station or solar farm, you need a 3PL who can move your parts and equipment safely and securely while meeting your most stringent deadlines.

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Farming & Food

Food processors can lose a significant percentage—up to 20 percent or more—of production capacity due to unplanned downtime. With processing plants running 16-20 hours a day, the hourly cost of a shutdown can reach up to $30,000 per hour. Get back online with the parts you need expedited by AirFreight.com.
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Manufacturing

Every moment a manufacturing facility or factory sits idle costs a company money due to the high costs involved in lost sales and lost customers. With many manufacturers building to only a just-in-time production rates, any disruption threatens parts and vehicle inventories. This is where the speed, expertise, and experience of freight services from AirFreight.com can make a difference throughout the entire manufacturing supply chain.
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Oil & Gas

The oil and gas industry faces challenging conditions in offshore and onshore oil rigs, often in remote locations with limited infrastructure. Don’t let oil pumps or pipelines sit idle waiting for equipment. By having the right plans, parts, people, and a logistics partner such as AirFreight.com, you can effectively mitigate plant or pump downtime, unscheduled disruptions, and equipment failures.
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Renewables & Environment

Wind turbines can be as tall as an 85-story building with a blade radius of an acre. Transporting just one wind turbine can take up to nine separate shipments. Solar equipment has sensitive electronics and glass that are easily subject to damage. Just to make one solar panel requires nearly 40 different components, including precious metals, that need to get to the factory on time. With requirements like this, working with the right 3PL provider, such as AirFreight.com, who can flex with your needs when situations and requirements change is absolutely critical.
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Retail

During downtime, retailers experience lost sales, the inability to process credit cards, access customer purchasing history, or locate items in stock at a distribution center or another retail location. Don’t let unexpected downtime due to point-of-sale equipment failures impact your brand or frustrate your customers. If you can’t serve your customers, your competition will!
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Technology

Unexpected IT downtime can bring down even the largest businesses—just ask the airlines when their reservation systems go offline. The importance of e-commerce, online sales, and the computing infrastructure that supports it makes getting systems and servers up and running even more critical. With 98 percent of organizations reporting that a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000, you can’t afford a slow logistics partner.
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