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What is a Global 3PL (Third Party Logistics Provider)?

A Third Party Logistics (3PL) Provider, on a basic level, supports varying levels of a company's shipping operation. Global 3PLs provide company's with access to and expertise in all modes of transportation including International air, International ocean, Customs, Courier, Trucking, Warehousing, Distribution, and Fulfillment services. The role that a 3PL plays in each of these areas includes: Pricing and Contract negotiations with the carriers, Coordinating the transportation, Creating the documentation, and working with the relevant governmental agencies required to move shipments across international borders. 

Full Service Third Party Logistics Provider

If you are shipping internationally, it is important to work with a 3PL that can provide visibility to the entire process. The three main areas of focus are: Transportation, Documentation, and Regulations. The global 3PLs would provide International Freight Forwarding Services, Customs Clearance Services, and Compliance and Regulatory guidance.

How Does a Global 3PL Work with your Business?

International Transportation: A 3PL with an international reach has access to a vast network of Airlines, Ocean Carriers, Consolidators, and Trucking Companies. The 3PL will possess contracts with these carriers that results in a more competitive, efficient, and secure shipping environment for Exporters and Importers. 3PLs will have the ability to coordinate with the carriers, accurately generate the required documents, track shipments, file insurance, and meet the governmental requirements needed for your shipment. Partnering with a qualified Global 3PL can help streamline your supply chain, thus increasing efficiency and lowering costs.

International Documentation: Shipping packages and/or freight globally can be a highly complicated and even stressful situation. Partnering with a 3PL eliminates what can be a significant and costly distraction from your core business. A Global 3PL manages your complex supply chain by determining the required documentation needed for international shipment based on the products you are shipping, the countries you are shipping to and from, and the parties involved in those transactions. The 3PL then prepares those documents and works with the relevant government agencies to enable the movement of your shipments internationally.

International Compliance: In addition to the documents required for the transportation of your shipment there are often licenses required for the Import and Export of certain products. The U.S. governmental agencies that require licenses and or the adherence to specific guidelines include: USDA, APHIS, FDA, CBP, TSA, BIS, OFAC, DDTC, to name a few. Other countries have similar agencies and requirements that must also be followed. A Global 3PL will help you determine and meet those international requirements based on the specific factors of your shipments.

What Impact Can a Global 3PL Have on your Business?

Costs: Partnering with a third party logistics provider eliminates the overhead and investment required for warehouses, transportation vehicles, logistics employees, technology and systems. 

Grow Your Business: Global 3PLs provide quick and seamless access to international markets. The ability to reach the demands of your clients across the globe opens innumerable opportunities for expanding businesses.


Scalability and Responsiveness: A Global 3PL is able to scale space, labor, and transportation modes on-demand and globally. Industry highs and lows are also transitioned through the broader scope of your logistics provider. Leveraging a 3PLs access to analytics, metrics, and digital data, provides valuable data for growing your business.

Access to Knowledge: It is no secret that supply chain logistics can be a complex business. Fulfillment, distribution, warehousing, shipping, documentation, and Customs all bring their fair share of challenges. Working directly with a qualified Global 3PL provides valuable knowledge and experience not available elsewhere. 3PLs can give industry insight and best practices on an international business level.

3PL Guidance for your Global Business

Sourcing a Global 3PL is crucial to the international growth of your business. Your third party logistics provider should have a global network, expertise in your products, their transportation and customs requirements, and be readily available to advise you through the professional and regulatory hurdles. For further assistance or guidance on your products and in your markets, please contact our team HERE! 

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