Out With the Old and In With a 3PL

New technological innovations continue to pour into the shipping industry — so fast that at times it may seem hard to keep up. But embracing new shipping technology can increase your company’s efficiency, and likely help you save money in the process. That’s why we recommend partnering with a 3PL to ensure you have the resources and support you need to keep up on the latest shipping technologies.

It may feel overwhelming to adopt new technologies, but we have tips on which are worth the effort — no matter the size of your business. Read on as we show you some of the technologies you should consider for your shipping needs and how a 3PL provider can help you embrace them without a hitch.

How can a 3PL provider help you embrace freight technology?

Supply chain tracking technology

Gaining greater visibility and insights into your supply chain can greatly benefit your business. Supply chain visibility refers to the ability to track several types of processes within your supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to production and distribution, all the way to final delivery. By adopting technologies to improve your supply chain tracking, your company can purchase and house inventory more efficiently and pivot much more quickly when there are unexpected changes in the shipping industry.

There are a number of ways new technology can positively impact your supply chain. Through machine learning software, algorithms can automatically adjust and optimize stocking strategies, demand plans and inventory — saving time while also cutting labor costs. Warehouse operations — which are typically a very labor-intensive step in the supply chain — have also benefited from new technology, turning to robotics and automation to reduce errors and lower costs. Learn more about embracing technology to optimize your supply chain.

For many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), embracing technologies to enhance your supply chain may seem like an impossible task. Luckily, by partnering with a 3PL like Unishippers, you can get expert guidance from a team who knows the shipping industry inside and out. If you’re looking to begin tracking and optimizing your supply chain, start by requesting a free shipping assessment from your Unishippers support team.

Transportation management systems

A transportation management system (TMS) helps you save time, trouble and money on your business shipping. Not only does a TMS allow you to go paperless (imagine, no more mountains of paperwork to rifle through!) but it also helps you easily compare costs and delivery options with just the click of a button — which means no more time-consuming rate checking! Plus, a TMS allows you to track all your shipments in one place, as well as keep all your orders, invoices and other files organized and searchable.

So how do you get started? Most 3PLs have their own proprietary TMS — and this software is typically free when you partner with a 3PL. In fact, Unishippers customers have access to our state-of-the-art myUnishippers™ software, and our support team can help you seamlessly transition to a TMS without the stress.

E-commerce integrations

Create an even better shopping (and shipping) experience for your customers with e-commerce integrations. By integrating applications from multiple sources into one comprehensive process, you can streamline your customers’ online experience and even automate internal back-end tasks. E-commerce integrations can help you display up-to-date shipping rates directly on your shopping cart at check-out, easily create shipping labels for hassle-free returns at the same time you prepare a shipment and so much more.

Each 3PL supports a unique selection of e-commerce integrations, so it’s important to do your research before choosing a 3PL partner. Unishippers helps customers connect their buyers to real-time rates with our shopping cart plugins and even connect to their ERP, internal TMS or inventory management systems with our API. Learn more about our e-commerce integrations, including our preferred platform partners, or contact our specially trained integration team who can recommend specific solutions that would be most beneficial to you and your customers. We even offer developer resources to help with the implementation process.

Clearly, partnering with a 3PL can be a huge benefit to your growing business, helping you research and adopt new shipping technologies without unnecessary complications. However, we know that choosing and transitioning to a 3PL is no small task. Download our checklist to learn about the important steps you should take when considering a new 3PL.

Looking for more ways to enhance your business with technology? Read our recent blog post with plenty of SMB resources for your growing business.

Unishippers' Technology & Your Supply Chain Tip Sheet

Download Unishippers’ Technology & Your Supply Chain tip sheet for suggestions on how to best optimize your network.

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