Who Are Specialized 3PL Providers?

Who Are Specialized 3PL (Third Party Logistics) Partners?

First, what does 3PL mean? 3PL stands for third party logistics and is a company that provides B2C (business to consumer) and/or B2B (business to business) inbound/outbound product handling, storage and freight forwarding services. For example a 3PL partner can receive overseas bulk orders, empty the shipping containers and ‘cross-dock’ the products for either storage or forwarding. On their clients’ behalf, 3PLs will hold product in their warehouse (storage), or pick-and-pack orders (fulfillment), arrange delivery (freight management) and then inevitably also accept returns/repairs (order returns). Outsourcing logistics services with a reliable 3PL partner can significantly reduce overhead costs particularly in areas of inventory, freight and human resource management.

How does a ‘specialized 3PL’ differ from the Amazon’s of the world?

Quite simply they know their niche. A ‘niche 3PL provider’ can be determined by a company’s ‘geographical market’, their limited ‘service offerings’ and/or that they serve a ‘specific industry’.  A company the size of Amazon by comparison is filling orders in bulk with little to no special shipping/handling options and they’re doing it as fast as possible. Where large scale order fulfillment companies are focused on volume, specialty 3PLs are focused on high performance, quality customer service and client success. Further, 3PL specialists often offer critical marketing, pricing or business consulting which is critical to breaking into new markets and staying competitive.

At UCanTrade, Inc. we consider ourselves a specialized 3PL (Third Party Logistics) provider. Our niche is Canada/USA cross-border business. We exist to serve Canadian importers/exporters and proudly provide them with an array of ‘hands-on’ business and logistics services.

Our clients – most of whom are situated within a 100 mile radius of the Blaine, WA – Surrey, BC Peace Arch Border crossing, leverage our 30 plus years of cross-border experience and professional relationships to facilitate their business expansion into a lucrative, yet massive U.S. market. (Related article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA). From our 60,000 sq. ft. facilities, located off Interstate 5 between Blaine and Bellingham, WA, our clients are encouraged to think ‘domestically’ and consider our facilities merely as an extension of their own head-office ‘stretched’ across the border.

As logistics specialists, our team of professionals operate at a high level, navigating our long standing ‘systems and processes’ with expertise and accuracy. Our size and experience allow us to be responsive and flexible to satisfy our clients’ needs quickly and efficiently.

Even within the current Canada/USA political climate and amidst NAFTA uncertainty (Related article: Status of NAFTA Negotiations) the historically favorable exchange rate between the US dollar and the Canadian ‘Loonie’ translates to most Canadian companies earning up to 23% more on their U.S. sales. (Related article: The Loonie – A Hindrance or An Opportunity?)

UCanTrade B.C. New Exporters Tour

Surrey Board of Trade’s ‘New Exporters Tour’ at UCanTrade, Inc. – Spring 2018

We are cross-border specialists. Whether you’re selling high-tech medical devices, delicate works of art, trade show booth materials in ‘clam-shells’ or heavy parking meters, we can help. Learn more about UCanTrade, Inc. at our website www.UCanTrade.com  and/ or to stay current on upcoming BC/WA trade news and cross-border events, subscribe to our monthly TradeTips newsletter.

We love visitors at UCanTrade. Please be our guest and drop in for a tour! We are located at: 1465 Slater Rd, Ferndale, WA (driving directions). Open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

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3PL Third Party Logistics – A Strategic Expansion Partner

Doing Business in the U.S.A.

Successful international business expansion to the United States hinges on thoughtful, well informed pre-planning and reliable cross-border partnerships. Domestic and foreign accountants, immigration and business lawyers, customs brokers and logistics (marketing, warehousing, order fulfillment and distribution) specialists all play key roles in a Canadian company’s export success into the U.S.A. (Cross-border Resources).

Trade laws, regulations and policies dictate financial, business, immigration and import/export options and – under expert council, allow companies a certain level of decisiveness.  Logistics however, due to the nature of supply chain management, makes the deduction of risks and cost variables much more difficult to identify, particularly in a foreign market as large and diverse as the U.S.

Are U.S. Sales Worth the Risk?

The short answer is yes. Americans are back to work and they’re buying. Not only are they buying domestically but they’re buying foreign goods and services in greater quantities as well. In addition to the strong economy, exchange rates always make selling into the states beneficial (Exchange Rate). When the Loonie is low, you can invest Canadian capital more economically, and when it’s high, you can earn a premium on your USA sales. In addition to Americans shopping and favorable exchange rates, foreign manufactures are very anxious to sell into the booming USA economy too. Importing quality goods from Europe and Asia into the USA is another terrific business opportunity to consider. (Read more: “Eight reasons to expand to the USA – today!”)

How Do You Choose the Right Logistics Partner?

With so many 3PLs (Third Party Logistics) to choose from it’s important to match the logistics company’s expertise with your specific requirements. Like UCanTrade, Inc. many companies for example have multiple locations ‘dedicated to certain types of fulfillment’. In addition to expertise and warehousing capabilities the following questions will help determine how a 3PL ‘measures up’:

  • What are their order fulfillment strengths? B2B, B2C or both.
  • Which categories of goods do they specialize in handling? I.e. hard goods, pharma, food etc.
  • What types of shipping/handling methods do they use? I.e. ‘kit assembly, continuation plans’ etc.
  • Does their technology and systems support your fulfillment needs?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What size companies do they typically serve and how does that compare with your business?
  • Can they manage scalability and growth?

It’s very important that once you’ve shortlisted your 3PL candidates take a team and tour their facilities.

3PL As A Strategic Expansion Partner

An experienced business and logistics service provider (especially one based in the United States) becomes a strategic partner in your international business expansion enterprise weighing in on marketing, packaging, and pricing strategies, as well as planning for order returns/repairs. Their experience will help to mitigate the risks and distribution costs associated with selling and shipping goods and services in the states. The right 3PL will provide your business the ‘platform for growth and efficiency’ necessary in achieving sustainability selling to your US market and beyond.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

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“Commodity” versus “value-added” order fulfillment

By: Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Third-party fulfillment warehouses have existed for many years, originally developing to handle “mail order” from various catalog companies, large and small. However, with the recent explosion of e-commerce and other internet sales, it’s become a whole new ball game. A major trend is the differentiation between low-cost, high-volume “commodity” sales, mainly to consumers, and higher-price, lower-volume sales, both to consumers and businesses (e.g., retailers). Typically, the latter require a variety of “value-added’ services because their customers have more clout and can request special services, such as unique packaging, price tags and point-of-sale materials. Unfortunately, many “newbies’ to the fulfillment game are caught in between because they have few sales and need “hand-holding” as they learn the ropes. We usually recommend they invest in some initial hand-holding from a value-added fulfillment company while they work through their initial marketing, product and packaging issues.

Naturally, the largest and most prominent example of a modern commodity fulfillment operation is “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA). If you’re new to the game, it’s worth doing some research via Google to fully understand the requirements and costs (fees, surcharges and returns).

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Order Returns – Cause and Effect

Attributed to the overwhelming increase in e-commerce holiday orders, UPS has hailed January 5th ‘National Returns Day’ because of the volume of product returns it manages during the first week of January – in particular on the 5th.

Ecommerce is on the rise and it’s not only putting increased pressure on shipping couriers like FedEx and UPS but the entire supply chain (Related Article: A Logistics Revolution). While business increases all parties struggle to adapt to the demand. In order to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ both shipping giants have partnered with specialized companies, like UCanTrade, Inc., to better control the costs and challenges presented by “reverse logistics”.

Further, their specialized third party logistics (3PL) partners work closely with retailers/e-tailers to establish (among other things) an effective return policy to best maximize their profits. “[An] easy-to-use returns experience should be one of several retail strategies to enhance customer loyalty and manage the cost of returns processing,” said UPS chief marketing officer Teresa Finley.

This is especially true for Canadian (e-commerce) companies exporting their goods to the U.S. and selling to American consumers; notorious for their high customer service expectations. An effective return policy can give exporters a competitive advantage not only with other Canadian businesses but also with US retailers as well. (Related Article: Return to Sender – What’s Your Policy?)

Consider your supply chain, the cause and effect of returns and then manage it in both directions – there AND back.

UCanTrade, Inc. is a boutique, third-party logistics and warehousing services provider situated 15 minutes south of the B.C. / Washington State, Blaine border crossings. Proudly providing business and logistics services to Canadian importers and exporters, since 1984.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(Source Article)

B.C. Businesses Cut Cross-Border Costs

“Canadian companies want to consolidate several small shipments into a larger one to minimize customs clearance costs,” says Jim Pettinger, UCanTrade, Inc.’s president and CEO. “This is where UCanTrade can step in and provide cross docking services and work in conjunction with our client’s U.S. Customs Broker to expedite this process at a low cost.”

Further, UCanTrade’s state-of-the-art warehouse and shipping facility, conveniently located on I-5 only 10 minutes (24 km) from the border in Blaine, WA, is strategically positioned to help British Columbia businesses save money. Our cross-docking, ‘pick-and-pack’ and third party logistics (3PL) services, combined with years of cross-border experience, give our clients a competitive advantage. By eliminating the border, Canadian businesses lower their shipping and handling costs whereby increasing their profits.

Noteworthy, if you are making acquisitions in the United States, ask your vendor if they offer free delivery to addresses in the U.S.  If they do, call us for cross-docking services and you could save thousands on freight fees and international shipping charges.

Get in touch with the logistics experts at UCanTrade, Inc. today, and find out how your company can save money with cross-border cross-docking and 3PL services.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Improve your marketing productivity by outsourcing to a “3PL” provider

By: UCanTrade Staff

Many small/medium companies have learned they can’t do it all, especially in today’s Internet-driven world of international trade.

In the world of logistics* and supply-chain management, ‘3PL’ means ‘third-party logistics’ – a logistics company hired by either buyers or sellers to reliably coordinate and deliver their goods, either in part or entirely, to their customers.

In today’s global marketplace, 3PL partners play a key role in a business’ supply chain and are especially relevant when selling to a foreign market. Cost effective manufacturing, packaging, shipping and distribution can make or break overall sales success; which when expanding a business abroad, can be exacerbated further by diverse and complex import/export regulations.

At UCanTrade, YOU can trade! We specialize in supporting Canadian exporters/importers with US business and logistics services including: (E-commerce) Order Fulfillment & ‘Pick-N-Pack’, Cross-Docking, Value Added Parcel Forwarding, Warehousing and Storage, Freight Management/Transportation Services, Mail Services and more. We exist to help Canadian businesses market and distribute profitably in the USA.

*Logistics is the management of the multi-directional flow (and storage) of goods and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption. The purpose is to satisfy customer requirements as efficiently and reliably as possible. Good logistics is crucial to customer satisfaction and business profitability – it gets goods and material where they need to be when they need to be there.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade