When hiring a 3PL company, you would be interested to know the quality of storage services they provide. It is especially so if your business requires storage services all year round. Read this article to learn how to choose between 3PL warehousing services.
Location of the Warehouses
The company's warehouses should be located along your supply and distribution routes. Otherwise, you will have to pay more to transport your products to the warehouse. Additionally, your customers and suppliers may not be ready to cover extra miles to access the warehouse. The facility should have excellent access road and sufficient loading and unloading space. Besides, it should have adequate safety features to ensure customers and suppliers can access the warehouse at night.
Available Storage Space
Examine your business operations to know how much storage space you need. It is especially so if you run a large business with a large inventory. Most 3PL companies can rent warehousing space if they do not have adequate space in their warehouses. However, ask the company to bring along paperwork showing that they have acquired the extra space. Besides, you could visit the warehouse.
It would be unfortunate if some of your products get lost or damaged in the warehouse. As such, you should examine the warehouse management practices. For instance, what kind of equipment does the company use at the warehouse? Does the company observe warehouse safety protocol?
Critically examine how the 3PL organises the warehouse. Preferably, similar products should be stacked together. The warehouse should have warehouse management software to help you order shipments and track your inventory. It ensures customers have an easy time receiving orders from the facility. An effective software will let the warehouse staff know the exact location of each item.
There are instances when you may need your products packaged and labelled at the warehouse. It happens when you do not have sufficient space or personnel at your business premises. The 3PL should provide these services at your request.
Type of Warehouse
What kind of warehouses does the company provide? Companies dealing with meats and farm produce will require cold storage. Some warehouses will not store flammable products, chemicals and other kinds of dangerous products. Therefore, let the 3PL know of any dangerous products in your catalogue.
When evaluating a 3PL warehousing services, check the location of the warehouse, available storage space, warehouse management and the type of warehouse.