This is part two in a two-part series. Read part one here.
As we demonstrated in part one of this two-part series, 3PLs are a huge driver of our local and national economies.
They seem to have come out of nowhere, but it’s only because they serve an essential, if not terribly sexy, function. In fact, for as much influence and impact that 3rd party logistics companies have had on economies in the smaller scale, they’re also huge driving forces of the global economy.
If you’ve not yet tried to ply your wares outside of the United States, you may not be aware of a the concept of emerging markets. Emerging markets could be an untapped source of buyers for your products, if you had a way to reach them. Large parts of South America, Africa, the Middle East and even Western Europe and Asia are ready and willing to purchase American products, if only they could.
This is where 3PL comes in. According to Bloomberg Business, 9.2 billion deliveries were made across China alone in 2013. This is a country that had an incredibly fragmented delivery infrastructure just a decade ago, but is now allowing companies like UPS and FedEx to bring modern delivery logistics to residents across the country, even in rural areas.
That $300 billion worth of goods in China didn’t just come from anywhere, those products were ordered online and delivered using 3PLs. Now, instead of your reach just being limited in scope to one country or a couple of adjoining nations, 3PLs are actually expanding business infrastructure into countries that were never before able to be serviced properly.
Even though getting into an emerging market is a slower process, it’s now possible for your company to have product fulfillment all over the world. To speed things up, many 3PLs are moving from relying on foreign partners to setting up locations in their emerging nations of choice. Not only are these companies employing more locals in warehouses and distribution centers, they’re working with partners across the global economy to make it grow by including countries that were once excluded due to a lack of infrastructure or other limitations.
3PLs, along with their shipping partners, are absolutely essential parts of our economy. Not only are they expanding markets at home by giving customers unequaled access to products, they’re also helping ambitious companies bring the whole world into the global economy. From Western Europe to Africa and South America, it will be the 3PLs and their partners that help us create a truly world-wide market.