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3PL: Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Published: November 18, 2008 (Issue # 1426)



  • 3PL companies offer a whole range of logistics services, from transport and storage to packaging and delivery.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

In contrast with transportation companies and warehouse operators, Third Party Logistic companies offer a comprehensive range of services. Industry experts, however, note that there are both benefits and risks associated with outsourcing logistics.

Third Party Logistics, or 3PL, is the outsourcing of logistics services. 3PL operators organize the management of the flow of goods and optimize financial and information resources for product shipment and distribution.

A 3PL operator provides a whole range of services necessary to deliver products from producers to retailers. 3PL starts with moving the products from the production line, packaging and storage and delivering product lots to the stores, said Alexei Gorinov, head of the sales department at Nienshants Logistics.

Antonina Amerik, head of the marketing and development department at Maxilog logistics company, added that 3PL operators also offer secondary services such as document clearance, insurance, agent services (including loans and assistance in signing contracts), consulting and outsourcing of other business processes in the clients company.

Gorinov said that about 50 companies in St. Petersburg market themselves as 3PL operators. The market is dominated by large companies (Nienshants Logistics,Interterminal, Mega-Logistics, Relogix and FM-Logistics) and transportation companies that offer logistic services (STS-Logistics and Velts).

In addition, distribution companies use their ties with retail chains and offer logistics services, Gorinov said, as do companies that own former industrial premises in the city and in proximity to the ring road.

The benefits of 3PL are time and cost saving and a higher quality in product shipment and distribution.

The main benefit of logistics outsourcing is the time that you save by delegating the distribution process to a specialized company. Having experience of working with various groups of products, 3PL providers can organize a better and more effective distribution process, Gorinov said.

Logistics outsourcing does not mean that the company loses control over its goods while they are being transported.

High-quality logistics outsourcing always includes distant management of the flow of goods. Using a laptop, the client can order additional product delivery from any place, if he unexpectedly gets an order, Gorinov said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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