3PD is proud to support the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), a humanitarian group created to coordinate the relief efforts of leading logistics and supply chain trade organizations (and their members) during times of crisis.
We believe strongly in ALAN’s mission to unite the supply chain community and serve as a primary point of contact for our industry when massive contributions of goods, services and logistics expertise are needed in disaster zones. And we are pleased to join the ranks of logistics providers who stand ready to help as needed.
Since its inception, ALAN has participated in numerous relief efforts. While earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, flooding and the like are obviously unwelcome, the many faces of ALAN help to bring comfort to crisis victims. Most recently, ALAN has worked with major humanitarian relief agencies to identify supply-chain-related relief needs to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Here are just a few of the ways in which ALAN is helping:
- Locating potential operations space for the American Red Cross during Hurricane Earl.
- Collaborating with the mid-Atlantic Regional Catastrophic Planning Grant Program to discuss the role of supply chains in mass care.
- Working with the Bottled Water Association to coordinate donations of bottled water
- Connected DHL with Agencias Navieras B&R, S.A. who is helping them on the ground in Haiti.
- Helped Aidmatrix with vessel connections for Coke water and the Clinton Foundation
- Connected Feed the Children with a corporate jet for transporting medical supplies
- Reaching out to food companies, grocery chains and the GMA regarding need for rice
To learn more about this highly worthwhile cause, visit www.alanaid.org.
ATLANTA, Georgia — 3PD, one of the country’s largest last-mile logistics providers, celebrates a milestone anniversary today. “Ten years ago, we started this company with two trucks and a lot of ambition,” said 3PD founders Karl Meyer and Randy Meyer in a joint statement. “Today, we’re proud to celebrate our first full decade of operation — and to thank the team of talented employees and contractors who have worked so hard to help put us on the map.”
Launched in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2001, 3PD quickly grew from a small, local operation to a $250 million company with approximately 650 employees, 1,700 contract carriers and nearly 500 locations throughout the United States and Canada. In 2006, it became one of the last-mile industry’s first truly national providers when it merged with GTS, another leading last-mile company. And in 2007, it solidified that position with the acquisition of Affinity Logistics.
It now makes nearly 3.5 million deliveries per year and delivers a wide variety of value-adding services for an extensive client list of market-leading retailers and manufacturers. The company has been named an Inbound Logistics Top 100 3PL, a Transport Topics Top 100 Carrier For Hire, one of Commercial Carrier Journal’s Top 250 Carriers, a Transport Topics Top 100 3PL, one of Global Logistics & Supply Chain Strategies’ Top 100 Supply Chain Partners and Atlanta’s Logistics Company Of The Year. In addition it has received numerous service awards from clients.
“As we approach the intersection between one decade and the next, we are very happy with where we find ourselves as a company,” said the Meyers. “We strongly believe that we have successfully delivered on our dream to become one of the first — and most reliable — national last-mile delivery companies. We have an exceptionally strong team and network in place. And we’re looking forward to providing even more strategic and successful industry innovation in the years to come.”
For further information, please contact: Lori Lockman, 678.581.8421, email@example.com
Importance of the Distribution Chain
The passing of merchandise down the chain of manufacturers, retailers and finally, to the consumer who will purchase the product can be an excellent way to define the distribution chain. Product distribution is an important service in logistics and supply chain management. The last thing a business wants or needs is late, or misplaced products. A steady stream of merchandise, regardless of industry is what can make or break companies. When dealing with business to business delivery, the timely delivery of goods is vital, whether it’s parts to the manufacturer, or the finished product to retail locations.
What can happen if your products are late?
If a chain company were to advertise a sale, but not be able to deliver the product in time, they will not only lose revenue, but the reputation of the company will take a hit. There could also be other cost associated with receiving your product late such as, money lost on advertising, and the aggravation of customers demanding rain-checks, all comes down to improper distribution.
Distribution to your clients can be made easy by using a 3rd party delivery company to monitor and manage merchandise from storage to delivery.
For more information on business to business last mile delivery services, explore our website: 3PD Logistics
What do your customers want?
They want the products they order to be delivered to them by the time they hit the return button on their keyboards. This may be an impossible task with our current distribution and delivery systems, however, shorter time frames between when customers place an online order and when they receive their products is becoming an increasing expectation. Customers today are always on the go and have little time to wait for the products they order. One way to lose your customers is to disappoint them repeatedly with orders arriving late.
How to give your customers what they want?
One strategy for retailers is to provide free delivery to customers that order a minimum purchase amount. The retailer gives the customer an extended delivery date, as compared to normal delivery, and they employee the use of a last mile delivery service to get the product to the customer earlier than the quoted date. This strategy delivers a perception of high quality and adds value to the order for the customer.
E-commerce is a steadily growing part of the world’s economy. The ease of sitting at my laptop while enjoying a latte at my local coffee shop and finishing up my last bit of Christmas shopping is becoming an increasing trend among holiday shoppers. But just like a product that you order from your telephone, products in cyberspace have to be delivered physically to your home.
E-commerce employees last mile delivery to get your online purchases to you. Why is E-commerce a perfect candidate for last mile delivery, because of the relatively small batches of products being shipped. Individual customers usually don’t order enough items to justify a container ship pull up in their backyard. However, the small orders that online shoppers make are perfectly handled by last mile delivery services such as 3PD Last Mile Delivery and Logistics Solutions.
Having a presence in approximately 500 locations throughout the United States and Canada enables 3PD to meet nearly every U.S. and Canadian delivery need you might have, all with award-winning service levels. When it comes to delivering high-value, heavy goods, 3PD’s North American solutions come made-to-order.
You finally did it. You came up with the greatest product on earth. Being the savvy business owner that you are, you went out and hand-picked the greatest marketing team ever assembled. In fact, your product solves so many of man kinds problems that Oprah even found time to mention it on her show. Now the orders are rolling in and we have a little problem. Your current delivery system just will not support your growth. So how do you get your products to the customers that demand them? Logistics; more specifically, “Last-Mile Focus”.
Long distance transportation tends to be serviced by high capacity modes such as container ships and trains. They operate on a system of economies of scale, unfortunately, as the product gets closer to the customer economies of scale decrease due to smaller batch sizes. The last-mile usually consist of truck deliveries, with less than a full load, taking place over short distances, in congested urban settings.
Many companies turn to 3rd party vendors such as 3PD to make sure their packages get to the final customer. These companies provide last mile delivery solutions for businesses. Offering services such as home delivery, business to business delivery, job site delivery and customized logistics services. Usually, these 3rd party vendors can provide a better value to businesses than expanding ones current delivery force. They concentrate on handling one aspect, the aspect of logistics, therefore they become extremely efficient at getting things delivered on time and to the right place.
“We’re in the business of selling windows, doors and skylights — not the trucking business,” says Al Altieri, director of distribution for WindowRama, whose switch to an outside provider has slashed the company’s transportation and logistics bill by about $2 million annually — twice what it expected.
The company’s new-found savings have been the result of a highly successful two-year relationship with 3PD, a “last mile” delivery and logistics provider. Based in Edgewood, N.Y., WindowRama operates 26 retail locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Some 80 percent of its business is in the high-end Andersen line, along with other big names in windows like Marvin, Pella and Weather Shield.
The company’s main distribution center at headquarters totals roughly 110,000 sq. ft., plus an additional 20,000 sq. ft. in the form of a warehouse mezzanine, giving it “enough room to handle 40 or 50 stores,” Altieri says. The majority of WindowRama’s products go through its DC, and customers have the option of picking products up at the facility, having them delivered to a store for pick-up or direct delivery to homes or job sites. Since the majority of products are bulky and fragile, most customers opt for direct delivery.
Looking for Options
For nearly 25 years, the company handled all transportation and logistics in-house through its own fleet, drivers and helper teams. In 2000, WindowRama decided it was time to outsource last mile deliveries to a national trucking company.“It was getting harder and more expensive to keep up with Department of Transportation regulations, to hire and train drivers and to keep up with all the drug testing laws that were being implemented,” Altieri says. “We decided outsourcing gave us the comfort of no longer being in the trucking business.”
By 2009, however, the associated costs were becoming excessive. “We had to commit to a fixed-cost arrangement for a 21-truck fleet, 21 drivers and helpers, regardless of whether we used them.” Furthermore, the company had to shuttle empty trucks from lots in New Jersey and Connecticut to its DC, a carrier-designed system that added a lot of miles to the transportation tab and another hassle for WindowRama.
“A lot of times those trucks were left unattended and we had no way of knowing for sure if every driver team had made it to the truck yard for pickups,” Altieri says. “Sometimes we didn’t know anything was wrong until a customer called to find out about his delivery.”
The system worked fine during the mid-part of the last decade, when the company was running up to 22 trucks per day. “But as the economy declined, we wanted the flexibility to pay just for what we needed,” he says. “That’s what the 3PD model proposed — a different way of doing business that required very little obligation on our part.”
The extent of the savings with 3PD was surprising to WindowRama. “We went into the deal looking at about $1 million in savings,” Altieri says. “But because the economy crashed the way it did, we were able to save closer to $2-$2.5 million due to variable rather than fixed-cost pricing. We now pay per stop — not by mileage.
“The beauty of this arrangement is that we know what each stop is going to cost us, which is helpful during those times when we’re dealing with certain customers who might or might not show up for their delivery appointment,” he says.
The move to 3PD did require some adjustment in thinking. “We’re very customer focused and we wanted to be sure our customers — including our stores — were being taken care of,” Altieri says. “We had been loading the trucks and supplying finished routes to our trucking company for deliveries [and] I was reluctant at first because 3PD loads and routes their own trucks. We still do address cleanup to make sure the delivery addresses are confirmed by a WindowRama employee before 3PD gets them.”WindowRama maintains loading crews to take care of trucks that go “over the bridges” to the company’s more remote stores. Meantime, the driver teams at 3PD handle products and customers as if they were their own.
“This has made me a big fan of the company’s owner-operator model,” Altieri says. “It’s made a big difference in terms of our product damages: They have gone down drastically, while customer satisfaction levels are way up.
“You could have the best sales people and the highest quality products in the world,” he says, “but if you get a delivery team that shows up late or looking less than professional or with a major attitude, it could sabotage the whole customer experience.”The retailer maintains a three-person dispatch department that deals with customers during the course of the day on WindowRama issues. 3PD provides another crew consisting of a manager, assistant manager and two clerical staffers to deal with delivery questions and issues. “So, we have seven people to deal with anything that might come up,” Altieri says. “Basically, this has enabled us to get rid of all customer service issues.”