Can you believe that there are almost 108 million online shoppers in India and that this number is expected to increase to 120 million very soon? Addedly, these consumers are demanding fast delivery as one of the key demands from their shopping experience. Continuing with the facts… currently, almost 60% of the demand is coming from the metro and Tier-1 cities but in the next 2 years, it is expected to drop down to 50% with the most growth expected from the rest of India.
Hence, if you are an e-commerce seller, at some point in your business, you will need the services of a well-equipped and experienced 3PL partner or delivery partner. Well-established delivery partners give you more time and space to deal with your core functions than worry about consignments getting lost or misdelivered.
Locally, the 3PL industry is expected to grow by 19 to 20% CAGR by 2019–2020, valuing at a whopping 58, 000 crores INR. The current drivers for this sector include GST implications, logistics technology and the newly acquired ‘Infrastructure’ status for the Indian logistics sector. So, in this booming industry with multiple 3PL or delivery companies vying for your business, what is the best strategy to find the right 3PL partner that suits you?
Here are a few ways to help you make the right choice and get the best out of your 3PL delivery partner:
1. Multiple Offers, Customised Solutions
What you ideally need is one 3PL partner that offers multiple choices. Select a delivery company that presents customised delivery options. This will infuse efficiency into your supply chain while being beneficial for your business and brand image. A smooth, omnichannel approach that enhances customer delight is always preferable in a 3PL partner. Finalise one that is ready to customise offerings and improve on services over time.
2. Wide Network
A 3PL partner or delivery service with a wide network distribution will be experienced with an optimum network configuration and be aware of ideal distribution locations for your business. The ideal 3PL partner should also be able to assist you with delivery in new locations if the need arises.
3. A Win-Win Partnership
If you’re looking for a 3PL partner for the long run, work out a win-win situation that benefits both parties. Most good 3PL companies are open to playing value-adding roles in your organisation rather than haggling over individual commodities or pricing. Take advantage of this and apply an automated system to bring your 3PL partner in. Integrate your company’s ERP to your 3PL partner’s Track Management System. This creates a trusting bond in which there is complete supply chain transparency. Work out retainer deals that satisfy your 3PL partner with assured business each month.
4. Reputation and Reviews
Since delivery is a highly competitive industry, your 3PL partner should stand out owing to proven processes and a good track record. Speak to other players and double-check via reviews and feedback. Your 3PL delivery partner should also be able to integrate well with your systems and cater seamlessly to your personalised requirements.
5. Logistics Technology
The logistics industry is advancing due to the vast technological developments that have been introduced in the past few years. Your 3PL partner must be in tune with the latest logistics technology and be open to implement it readily. With consumer demands increasing, real-time checks, automated systems, and data analytics are commonplace. Make sure that your delivery partner is equipped. If you’re looking for a 3PL partner with these advantages, try Shadowfax, one of the topmost delivery partners in India.
In the words of Rohit Gupta, VP Business Development for Shadowfax:
”Shadowfax makes it very easy for an e-commerce business to start shipping their products with us. Our specialties include an intuitive partner portal, best-in-class forward delivery speeds and lowest error rates on return pickups. We already have a satisfied client base of 500+ businesses which are being served across 3000+ pin codes in India with our 10000+ delivery fleet”. Shadowfax’s easy-to-operate client portal offers real-time data on all your orders including detailed reporting that can be easily downloaded. The services we offer include order and inventory management and delivery. This added to our efficient turn-around-time results in a highly cost-effective one-stop delivery solution for you.