Locating a 3PL company for a footwear businesses has its own set of challenges outside most other business structures. The footwear industry continues to face issues of global manufacturing, limited product life cycles, and inventory complexities. When you add the fickleness of the public in fashion and in footwear trends, it makes it tougher for you and your fulfillment center.
That's why finding a 3PL with vast experience in the footwear industry is mandatory to help in logistics. Finding one can help you ship your products faster so your prospective customers stay loyal.
No matter what markets you want to conquer nationwide, it's not difficult to find a 3PL in every American city. However, only a small fraction are probably suitable for your footwear company.
What should you look for in a 3PL to help address your most pressing concerns? Also, what does the general footwear industry do to find the best distribution warehouses for them?
Lower Operation Costs
Surveys show those in the footwear business frequently focus on cost as a top priority in warehouse selection. Much of this goes by the shift to e-commerce and needing more equipment to keep up with demand. Searching for omni-channel fulfillment is the prime directive in this case without costing a fortune.
One example in operations cost is locating a 3PL with automated systems to reduce time shipping orders. This also includes increased supply chain visibility with business partners.
Even more important is finding a 3PL with enough space to handle the influx of footwear shipments. It's now the #1 priority for many warehouses in this industry. That's why it's important to ask a warehouse how many square feet they have, and whether they still have physical room to expand.
Many footwear companies want a two-point distribution system to allow quicker shipments to customers. The trend goes by the idea that having shipments from the west coast only costs more trucking items to the east coast.
Using an east coast location for your 3PL makes more sense since 75% of the U.S. population lives east of the Mississippi River. Nevertheless, don't discount using west coast locations since many interstates can reach east coast cities in a matter of a day or two.
For international shipping, you'll want to find a 3PL that has experience with global regulations. Reaching markets like Mexico or in Asia can open new doors through many of the best American ports on either coast.
Dealing with Color Differences During Shipping
If many of your footwear goes in different colored boxes, your fulfillment center needs to have a good grasp of color differences. You can find out if your 3PL has experience with this through the vetting process.
Since placing the proper shoes in the right color box is an important part of the branding process, you don't want mistakes. Analyze the background of the warehouse and see what their track record is in proper packaging and what kind of equipment makes it work more efficiently.
Using a 3PL with Green Practices
It's possible you want to stick with more green practices in your footwear business. If so, you'll need to find a 3PL that uses the best environmental practices in shipping your goods to customers.
Remember that using more sustainable methods in your distribution methods can work as a sense of branding. You may want organic material in your packaging, and that can take a more specialized 3PL.
All of these factors require the best research tools to find the warehouse you need.
Contact us here at 3PLCompanies.net to use our reliable resources to locate the best 3PL's nationwide.
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