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.
AirFreight.com by the Numbers
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
Cost of Urgent Shipping
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Expedited Shipping Vendor Comparison
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