What Is a 3PL?

What exactly do you do at AM Transport?


That’s a question we get a lot because we’re a third party logistics (3PL) provider, and lots of folks don’t know what that is or what we do.

The simple explanation is that we find trucks for customers who have products to be picked up and delivered.  But like most simple explanations, it really doesn’t do justice to the variety of services most 3PLs offer.

In other words, we’re not just playing Harry Potter all day!


So what is a 3PL?


The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals defines a 3PL as:

“A firm which provides multiple logistics services for use by customers. Preferably, these services are integrated, or “bundled” together by the provider. These firms facilitate the movement of parts and materials from suppliers to manufacturers, and finished products from manufacturers to distributors and retailers. Among the services which they provide are transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, inventory management, packaging, and freight forwarding.”

3PLs have been around since the early 1970s. And since then their role in transportation has expanded and grown in a variety of ways.


Three Good Reasons to Use a 3PL:


Reduced Transportation Costs: According to Steve Syfan in Inbound Logistics, “a 3PL should be able to reduce transportation costs by at least 5 percent, and as much as 25 percent, for manufacturers who have been running their own shipping departments.”

Expertise: 3PLs are up-to-date on industry standards and regulations. They bring the breadth of their knowledge to bear on every shipment. This means that shippers can leave the logistics issues to the 3PL.

Technology: With the adoption of advanced logistics software, 3PL folks have lots of information at their fingertips. They can manage financials, process orders, and track shipments from pickup to delivery in real-time. The widespread adoption of email and instant messaging offers customers a variety of communication options.


So how does it work? Let’s take a closer look at why relationships matter.


Here at AM Transport we don’t own trucks.

And we don’t ship freight.

But, we know a lot of shippers with freight, and we know a lot of carriers with trucks, and these folks need each other.

And that’s where we come in.

We’ve been in the logistics business for 30 years. And over time, we’ve figured out what our strengths are. We’re people people. It’s really that simple. We want to get to know you.

Sure, we don’t mind last-minute loads and the spot market; in fact, we’re really good at that. Give us a call with some critical freight, and we’ll get it on the road, pronto.

But the truth is we’d rather build strong relationships because it’s satisfying, and we’re in it for the long haul.

So yeah, we want to get to know you while helping move your freight in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. We want the process to be seamless and pain-free. That’s why we pay attention to your needs and figure out how they can best be met in a pretty fickle industry.

It’s a great time to be a 3PL. Give us a call. We’d love to get to know you and move your freight!