The Future of 3rd-Party Logistics in the Food Industry

The Future Of 3rd-Party Logistics In The Food Industry
The Future Of 3rd-Party Logistics In The Food Industry
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Article At A Glance

  • 3PL providers help food companies address supply chain challenges.
  • Emerging 3PL industry trends include a focus on sustainability, customization, cold chain management, and automation
  • 3PL benefits food companies by improving safety, reducing costs, meeting sustainability goals, and increasing productivity.

Global market expansion and consumer behavior shifts are among the driving forces behind 3rd-party logistics. The food industry, in particular, will need to take advantage of future 3PL industry trends. What can you expect to come for the food industry? 

This guide explains how food distribution companies can benefit from the changing world of third-party logistics.

The Current Challenges Faced by the Food Industry

Some of the top issues that food manufacturers and distributors must currently deal with include supply chain concerns and making the industry more sustainable. Consumers want to purchase products that are sustainably sourced and healthy. However, they can only do that assuming those products reach grocery store shelves. 

Inefficient supply chains struggle to keep up with the acceleration of consumer demand. As a result, manufacturers suffer in their operations and may lose customer loyalty

Food suppliers must find innovative ways to keep up with the demand and make their brands more environmentally friendly. They can check off both boxes by taking advantage of 3PL industry trends. 

Additional Read: Challenges Of Food Service Distribution: Strategies For Success

How Does 3PL Address These Challenges?

With 3PL, food distributors can get a better handle on industry challenges. Take the supply chain concerns, for instance. 3PL providers prepare for issues that impact the supply chain, including:

  • Extreme weather patterns or natural disasters
  • Labor shortages
  • Other unexpected disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic

These providers focus on boosting supply chain resiliency to prevent major issues with distribution. They can optimize product distribution with large warehouse stockpiles so consumers remain satisfied.

If you’re wondering, “Why use 3PL for transportation solutions?”, the answer is that it can contribute significantly to your company’s commitment to sustainability. Fulfillment and distribution centers can single-handedly boost your company’s green initiatives by making changes like using recycled materials in packaging and switching to electric delivery vehicles.

Trends Shaping the Future of 3PL in Food Distribution

Let’s dive into the future 3PL industry trends that will soon set a precedent for major food suppliers. Discover how your business can improve through 3PL providers making the following service changes.

Sustainability in 3PL

3rd-party logistics companies help cut down your carbon footprint. Current shifts in the industry make sustainability one of the biggest concerns for consumers and food suppliers alike. 3PL providers serve as the middleman to keep both parties happy and promote a green future.

Customization and Flexibility in 3PL Services

Your company and products should stand out from the competition. To achieve your goals, 3rd-party logistics providers will cater to your needs with customized options.

Say you want to ship boxes of chocolates with a delicate ribbon over them. This personal touch makes the product more special for consumers and gives your company an edge. Many 3PL companies are leaning towards product customization for a better customer experience.

Cold Chain Management and Temperature-Controlled Logistics

The food industry presents unique challenges to 3PL providers. The temperature of the products often impacts how suppliers distribute their goods. One of the emerging 3PL industry trends surrounds cold chain management and temperature-controlled logistics

Workers in warehouses and fulfillment centers can diligently track items that must be stored at cold temperatures. Doing so ensures product quality and consumer safety

Automation and Robotics in Warehouses

Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning make it possible to streamline various aspects of the food industry. Automating tasks during the fulfillment and distribution phase can build supply chain resiliency and prevent labor shortages. 

These advanced systems also increase productivity throughout the warehouse and during delivery. When it comes to 3PL industry trends, the use of automation and robotics systems is likely to become more prevalent. These systems facilitate workers in several ways, including:

  • Sorting inventory
  • Packing items
  • Improving communications among staff

Regulatory Compliance and Food Safety in 3PL

Implementing food safety measures is key to managing a food supply chain. Experienced 3PL companies understand how vital it is to distribute safe products to consumers. You won’t need to worry about costly setbacks regarding food recalls or other food safety issues. 

Those managing 3rd-party logistics centers follow compliance standards and can efficiently remove contaminated products from the supply chain before they reach consumers.

The Benefits of Implementing 3PL Solutions for Food Companies

Food suppliers can reap significant benefits when they utilize a 3rd-party logistics provider. Among the top advantages are:

  • Keeping food safer for consumers
  • Reducing costs
  • Meeting sustainability goals
  • Increasing productivity

The biggest benefit lies in the fact that 3rd-party logistics providers are constantly innovating to meet the needs of clients and consumers. When you work with one, you’ll experience firsthand the positive outcomes of future 3PL industry trends.

Additional Read: The Benefits Of Hiring A Third-Party Logistics Service Provider

Sustainability and Green Initiatives: Navigating Towards a Greener Future With 3PL Providers

Consumers are actively changing their buying behaviors with the environment in mind. They are more likely to remain loyal to brands that take sustainable measures. With a 3PL provider, you can make your brand more appealing to environmentally-conscious consumers.

Providers pave the way for companies to become more green based on their fulfillment and distribution processes. For example, switching the food packaging to use only recycled materials reduces the impact on landfills. In addition, companies can lower their carbon footprint when their distributors use electric vehicles for transport.

B & B Food Services embraces future 3PL industry trends so your company can reap the benefits. Contact us today at (815) 834-2621 to learn more.

About The Author

Jennifer Barrios

Jennifer Barrios

Jennifer Barrios is the Director of Operations at B&B Food Services Inc. With a passion for continuous learning and a strong dedication to teamwork, Jennifer is committed to working hard and keeping the big picture in mind. Her role involves developing systems and reports to record qualitative and quantitative data for decision-making, process improvement, inventory management, and strategic planning.

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