Food businesses have special requirements for managing supply chains due to the perishable nature of food items. Because of this reason, there is an inherent time sensitivity in logistics operations.
An optimal logistics operation will provide fast delivery while also ensuring that food items remain fresh during transit. A 3PL warehouse with the right facilities is a major consideration for a food business that wants to optimize its supply chain. However, there’s more value in hiring a 3PL logistics firm for your food business than just rapid delivery and food freshness.
In this article, we explain why 3PL logistics and transportation is important to a food business.
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Meeting Food Safety Standards
For any food and drink business, the importance of safety compliance rules cannot be overstated. Besides the health risks to customers in case there is a problem with the procured items, most countries have food safety laws that come with heavy penalties. Failure to comply with food safety regulations will basically kill your business.
3PL firms specializing in food supply chains are well aware of safety standards and have special SOPs designed to maintain them. 3PL warehouses also come equipped with facilities that help to keep food clean and safe from contamination.
Food businesses can then focus on the core aspects of their customer-centric operations, while their logistics partner maintains the integrity of the supply chain. 3PLs are also constantly audited by relevant food safety inspection authorities and certifications are necessary. We advise you to check for these certifications when choosing a 3PL company.
Warehousing Facilities for Upscaling Your Business
If you’ve been involved in the food business, then you would know that seasonal demand is a very real element. A sudden spike in demand for specific food items means that you will need to procure them earlier, and often in bulk quantities. That is where a 3PL warehouse becomes invaluable.
Using a 3PL warehouse will allow you to scale up your food supply operations when needed, while keeping you free of any hassles that come with in-house storage. You may even be able to get dedicated space. Your third-party logistics provider will save you some expenses in warehousing, transportation, and distribution in comparison to maintaining your own warehousing facilities, distribution networks, and transport fleet.
Because 3PL warehouses need to be dedicated to storing such items, a logistics company that specializes in food storage employs state-of-the-art technologies such as temperature control (for food preservation) and cloud-based inventory management systems (for detailed remote order and delivery tracking). Specialized service providers invest large sums of money to develop their 3PL warehousing solutions over time. Getting access to these warehousing facilities in most cases is a deal maker for any food business.
There’s also one more extra for retail-oriented businesses: customized packaging and labeling. Value-added services like these allow your business to center operations around great customer experiences and customer satisfaction.
Keeping it Fresh with Speedy Transportation
Just like the possibility of allocating dedicated warehousing space for your food storage, 3PL firms can allocate vehicles for dedicated deliveries to your outlets. A dedicated logistics fleet means that your food supplies will be delivered to you on time, even in times of high demand and workloads.
In a similar vein, 3PL logistics will also grant you access to a modern fleet with all the perks that come without you having to spend too much on supply chain investments, for example, temperature-controlled vehicles, real-time cargo tracking, and even port delivery services.
3PL companies also offer less-than-truckload (LTL) services that may involve smaller and faster vehicles as a solution for lighter supply loads. LTL deliveries are great for small retailers and restaurants that may not need too many supplies regularly as well as a flexible option for larger businesses that may want to scale down some operations based on their food supply needs. Shiply, an emerging player in the 3PL space, is renowned for its efficient and cost-effective LTL services, making it an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes.
The Final Course
3PL companies are indeed a necessity for the food industry, and as time goes on, the need to maintain quality and sustainability standards will only make them more important. 3PLs are in a good position to deliver on these requirements as they constantly evolve and improve to deliver such services.
If you are looking for a fresh 3PL warehouse solution for your food business, our team at [company name] has a menu (itemized services and solutions) for food delivery for you. Reserve your consultation with us today!
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