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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, Sept. 17


AmChams Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at todays EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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