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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 3PL Warehouse and its functions?
A Third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse is used to outsource elements of distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment. 80 percent of all Fortune 500 companies and 96 percent of Fortune 100 companies use 3PL services to grow and to enhance their supply chain. The 3PL industry is a 200 billion-dollar industry in the United States and growing annually.
What are the benefits of a Warehousing in a 3PL?
To extend your market reach in geographic areas where you do not have a company-owned warehouse. To quickly establish a foothold in a specific region of the country without having to spend capital building your own facility. To reach new markets, to save freight costs, and to expedite services by using a professional 3PL warehouse.
Is there a difference between a 3PL Warehouse vs a non-3PL Warehouse?
A 3PL Warehouse usually has all the infrastructure in place to efficiently handle the client’s specific needs. This includes a warehouse management system (WMS) for inventory control, forklifts, experienced warehousemen, loading docks, overhead cranes, and specialized equipment to get your product distributed. A rented warehouse has none of these critical tools and can take a year or more to be fully ready to handle the client’s product. That ramp-up period will come out of the client’s own capital and will require a management team to be built. That long ramp-up period could be the difference between success and failure.
What should you expect with a 3PL Warehouse?
A professional warehouse that will tailor their operation to meet your specific needs. It should provide full service and allow you, the client, to focus on more important issues such as marketing and sales growth. Versus logistics, inventory control, storage, fulfillment, and handling that the 3PL can manage for the client.
Is 3PL Warehousing the same as Contract Warehousing?
Normally they are not the same. There is a long-term contract required with a Contract Warehouse, which requires a client to commit to services for a particular number of years. A 3PL Warehouse does not normally require a long-term contract unless specialty equipment is needed.
How Are Goods Stored at a 3PL Warehouse?
Usually product is stored on pallets in a racking system. The 3PL can stretch wrap the pallets and arrange by expiration date, or First-In, First-Out (FIFO), whatever the specific instructions are from the client. SCHC is happy to build a customized program for any of our clients.
What kind of security should a 3PL Warehouse have?
Security is critical to a good 3PL operation. Fire alarms, security alarms, laser security beams, and 24/7 camera surveillance inside and outside of the warehouse should be part of any professional 3PL.
Is there anything SCHC does not store?
SCHC can store almost anything. If we do not handle a specific item, we can work with one of our excellent IWLA member partners to make sure the service is provided professionally to the client.
What kind of insurance does SCHC hold?
We have fire and liability insurance for product damage or loss, if we are the one who is negligent. The client should hold their own insurance for product stored off their premises at a 3PL Warehouse. This is the least expensive way to cover product by having the client add a rider to their policy and is the way it is done in the 3PL industry. Of course, we can provide any type of specialty insurance the client requests for added cost. We can even provide bonding for a cost.
How should goods be labelled?
Goods can arrive pre-labeled, or you can rely on SCHC to handle the labeling for you. Our labeling solutions are always aligned to the specific instructions of our clients.
Do I have to provide packaging materials for my goods?
It is up to the client on how to handle packaging. We have our own packaging division that can provide custom packaging at a very minimal cost. This is a unique service that SCHC offers and is not a usual practice by most 3PL’s.
How long can I store my goods with SCHC?
They can be stored for 6 hours or 40 + years. We will custom build a program that works for the client.