What’s the Difference Between Public Warehousing and a 3PL Company?

Public warehousing, 3PL, what’s in a name as long as you get the services you need, right? But we can relate to the confusion over these two terms. They are interchangeable, yet there are distinct differences between the two. And that’s where the confusion comes in. So we turned to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the preeminent global professional association of supply chain management professionals, to bring some clarity to the two terms.

What Is Public Warehousing?

A public warehouse is a business that provides storage to multiple businesses on a short or long-term basis. The public storage warehouse typically owns its own equipment and staff to manage the operations of the facility. Public warehousing can be used as the sole storage for a business or to supplement a private company’s storage facilities.

What Is a 3PL?

No, it’s not a cousin to the infamous Star Wars droid. 3PL is an acronym for third party logistics. A 3PL warehouse provides all or most of a company’s logistics operations. This includes warehousing, scheduling, transportation, inventory management, packaging, cross-docking and freight forwarding. A 3PL service provider facilitates the movement of goods from suppliers to manufacturers, and finished products from manufacturers to distributors, retailers, or consumers.

Distinguishing Between Public Warehousing and a 3PL

At Brendamour, we provide warehousing, distribution and other services essential to supply chain management, so we fit under the definition of both a public warehouse and a third party logistics service provider. That’s why we often refer to ourselves using either of the terms. But be careful out there, because the words are not interchangeable with all public warehouse companies.

The major differences between a public warehouse and a 3PL are the services provided. With a public warehouse, you can store your goods, but you may need to coordinate their movement in and out of storage. This works fine for businesses with automated in-house systems that manage their supply chain. But for others, this type of arrangement could cause you to spend a lot of time managing your stock rather than running your business. On the other hand, a 3PL warehouse handles all operations and logistics for you, but keeps you in the loop with 24/7 private and secure access to real time tracking and inventory status of your goods via an automated warehouse management system.

Another differential factor is focus. A public storage warehouse concentrates mainly on the storage function, with other logistics functions secondary. Third party logistics companies, like Brendamour, focus on all functions equally, providing a smooth and seamless operation from the supplier to distribution to customers. Think of us as a median in getting your products where they need to go.

Brendamour Goes Beyond Third-Party Logistics

At Brendamour Warehousing, we don’t just meet the logistics needs of our clients, we anticipate their needs. That’s why we offer additional value-added services beyond storing your inventory and managing its inbound and outbound movement. These production and fulfillment services are an integral part of supply chain management and save our clients valuable time and money.

Among our value-added logistics services are:

Distribution – Brendamour serves as your distribution center, offering fulfillment and order processing, storing and compiling of special materials, stock rotation and more. It’s an invaluable service to e-commerce businesses and companies of all sizes where using capital to build or lease a distribution center is not advantageous.

Processing – Consider us your support staff, providing custom packing and labeling; assembly work; inspection; over wrapping or stretch wrapping; bundling or folding; bulk mailing; advertising kit preparation; or whatever your needs may be.

Office Support – Our single and multi-office rentals provide essential business support, including secretarial or phone answer service, word processing, and computer and copy services.

Foreign Trade Zone Services – Brendamour Warehousing and Distribution has been designated a foreign trade zone, which means your imported products can be assembled, remanufactured, cleaned, tested, repaired, repackaged, stored, exported, etc., and not incur import duties.

Whether you’re more comfortable calling us a public warehouse or a 3PL, whichever you can relate to is fine by us, just as long as you call us for your logistics needs!

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