Anything can be purchased online. E-commerce and third party dealer websites such as Amazon can ship you a pair of running shoes, a squat rack and your protein shakes. What does this mean for brick and mortar stores?
Less Than Truckload (LTL) carriers and Parcel providers are seeing an increase in operational stress as fitness equipment manufacturers are moving a majority of their business online
Brick & Mortar Stores See Decline
More brick & mortar stores are closing every year. Sports Authority is closing its doors simply because people want to shop online and use fitness apps from their mobile devices. While the consumers are enjoying the ease of online shopping, the common Less Than Truckload (LTL) carriers and Parcel providers are seeing an increase in operational stress as fitness equipment manufacturers are moving a majority of their business online to survive technological advancements. The cost of shipping is cutting profit margins as the bulk of sporting goods manufacturers are selling on online and then drop-shipping from a third party warehouse.
How Can a 3PL Benefit Fitness Equipment Manufacturers & Distributors?
A Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider can better optimize a fitness equipment manufacturers supply chain:
- Dynamic Routing – A 3PL will allow for the shipper to place an order in their TMS (Transportation Management System) and their shipment will be dynamically routed based on the best value provider and transit time.
- Tracking – When a shipper partners with a 3PL, the shipper will gain access to the TMS, where they can track their freight by the BOL (Bill-of-Lading), Purchase and Sales Order Numbers.
- Freight Bill Pay & Audit – Partnering with a 3PL that has an in-house auditing team to audit and consolidate carriers invoices for the shipper, is a huge benefit. This service is not exclusive to every 3PL.
- Business Intelligence & Customer Engineering – Some 3PL’s will ask the shipper for past data to identify trends and future opportunities for cutting costs and moving shipments more efficiently.
- Enterprise Offering – When a 3PL partners with a larger customer that ships maybe more than $500k annually in domestic LTL, the customer may receive extra services at no cost to the shipper. For example, advanced 3PLs will conduct an on-site business consultation and identify key performance indicators to better optimize their supply chain. The 3PL may also work on integrating the shippers existing software with their TMS.
3PLs Have the Tools & Expertise
Whether a business is local and ships custom fitness apparel to a loyal group of consumers or is recognized worldwide and ships millions of dollars in fitness equipment through an online store, an experienced 3PL has the tools and expertise to manage an evolving supply chain.