How using data can help 3PL networks differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage


This is a trying time for 3PL companies. Managing the surge of new demand and rapid expansion of their market while dealing with labor shortages and rampant inflation has proven to be difficult. It’s also a time of great opportunity, with the 3PL market set to grow to a whopping 1.75 trillion dollars by 2026, a stark difference from the 1 trillion it was in 2020. To gain or retain market share – 3PL organizations must have strong differentiators that put their clients at ease and enable them to work flexibly. 

How 3PLs can differentiate themselves

One of the best ways to manage the chaos of the current supply chain industry and gain an edge is to increase the amount of actionable logistics data that is coming into your organization. 3PL organizations are better at understanding the value of data and analytics programs in areas such as disruption mitigation, shipment tracking and route optimization.  In fact, the value is already being seen in the industry, with around 60% of existing companies stating that data analytics is important to them going forward.

Data analytics can assist 3PLs in a variety of ways, from driving better business practices to ensuring that cargo is efficiently shipped and stored. It can also help organizations meet the increasing demands of their clients, namely the reduction of their total shipping costs and deliveries that meet strict timelines. 

Applications that provide information like real-time visibility on individual cargo items can help 3PLs really stand out from the crowd and provide their clients with peace of mind about the state of their deliveries while also keeping close track of the status of their product. 

To give an example, look at medicine delivery. Timelines are tight, the product must be temperature controlled, and integrity must be guaranteed at every step of the supply chain. Real-time visibility data can help 3PLs keep track of their precious cargo, from where it is in the supply chain, down to monitoring the temperature. Using real-time alerts and reporting, organizations can give their clients up-to date information about the location and arrival time of their product, helping reduce risk and improve client relations.

Digitizing your supply chain and moving to models that leverage big data will also help 3PL organizations optimize their current assets and processes to help them save money and time. Tracking the performance of every warehouse, carrier and even individual drivers assists in finding inefficiencies in processes, and allows organizations to fix them. Data can also help to better understand and keep track of constantly flowing inventory and locate blind spots within a network. It’s important to remember that if you can’t find the problem, you can’t fix it – having a consistent, clear source of intelligence and data helps bring issues to light that even the most brilliant person would have trouble seeing. 

The need for visibility is greater than ever. Supply chain management – already a challenging job – has become much harder for its practitioners, and data solutions are needed to fill the gaps. With clients demanding more and more, organizations need to start to make the push to overhaul their existing systems and digitize their supply chain. Data-based decision making is the future, gone are the days of best-guess practices. To gain an edge over other 3PL companies it’s time to modernize your supply chain to best deal with the modern realities of risk and high demand. 

Overhaul provides companies with end-to-end visibility and control of their supply chains by giving them the tools they need to be proactive when issues arise.. Overhaul helps organizations keep track of their shipments, optimize their supply chain and assist in the recovery of stolen or lost products globally. If you’re looking to ensure that your 3PL organization can create and maintain a competitive advantage during this time of extreme growth, we can provide you with the tools and the partnership needed to achieve your goals.

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