Vendor management can be time-consuming, so it’s often in the best interest of an organization to source multiple services from trusted vendors wherever possible to minimize complexity. Third-party logistics (3PL) providers usually have an extensive portfolio of primary and secondary services aimed at helping customers to streamline their supply chains from a single source. By engaging multiple warehousing, fulfillment, and transportation services from the same 3PL, a shipper can minimize strain on its own resources while breaking down silos between outsourced supply chain functions.

When working with a 3PL for logistics support, ask about their broader service portfolio and consider how those services may benefit you down the road. Once your logistics partner has established themselves as a quality partner, you may wish to explore their additional capabilities. This article will discuss some of the useful service add-ons offered by logistics providers.

Reverse Logistics

As e-commerce continues to grab a larger market share due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many online sellers have scrambled to keep up. A recent survey showed that 88 percent of consumers plan to keep shopping online to maintain social distancing and avoid crowds. Meanwhile, anywhere from 15–30 percent of online purchases usually get returned. Higher sales volumes ultimately mean higher return volumes, so online retailers that have traditionally struggled with reverse logistics would do well to seek help from their logistics provider sooner rather than later.

Import/Export Support

The U.S. trade war with China is ongoing, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) included changes that impact cross-border trade to varying degrees, and the global coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the international supply chain. This frequent instability within global markets can be frustrating for American businesses who buy or sell goods outside of the United States. Import and export help from your 3PL partner can help to overcome some of the complexities of international trade.


The modern digital supply chain requires visibility, and visibility requires technology. Consumer demand for fast and trackable shipping has spilled into the B2B arena as well, and every shipper must have visibility into incoming and outgoing shipments at a minimum. This often requires comprehensive solutions, such as Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), as well as Electronic Data Interchange capabilities to collaborate with supply chain partners. 3PLs frequently extend their own technology capabilities to their clients to improve visibility and streamline shipments.

Freight Brokerage

Freight brokerage can become difficult to manage as shipment volumes grow and carrier networks expand. Simply put, freight management involves a lot of paperwork and a lot of headaches. Without a dedicated freight management team in-house, freight management operations often require more time than an organization’s warehouse or transportation managers can give. Leveraging a 3PL’s trusted carrier network and freight brokerage capabilities can streamline the movement of goods for many organizations.

Real Estate/Site Selection

Logistics real estate was already at a premium before the coronavirus pandemic, and the ensuing e-commerce boom has only tightened capacity further. It’s often difficult for shippers to locate quality industrial real estate in target markets or centralized markets to meet growing consumer demand for fast shipping. A 3PL may have existing real estate in primary or nearby secondary markets that can serve a customer’s needs. If not, the logistics provider may be able to offer other creative solutions to reach the target areas.

Ask About Our Full Service Portfolio at Phoenix Logistics

While Phoenix Logistics may specialize in warehousing and fulfillment, we also offer an expansive range of other related services that can help our customers to streamline transportation and other supply chain functions. Contact us today to see how Phoenix Logistics can help you build a comprehensive supply chain management solution for your operation.

As an affiliate of the real estate firm Phoenix Investors of Milwaukee, WI, Phoenix Logistics has unique and preferential access to an expansive portfolio. Phoenix Investors’ Senior Management includes Frank P. Crivello as Chairman & Founder; David Marks as President & CEO; and Anthony Crivello as Executive Vice President. Robert Kriewaldt serves as Phoenix Logistics’ Senior Vice President.