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What Does a Career in Third-Party Logistics Look Like?

Although you may not hear about it often, the logistics industry is vital to modern commerce. In fact, it’s worth over $47 billion.

The role of the logistics industry is to bridge the gap between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. Third-party logistics companies are a part of this process as well. Typically, these companies are there to offer help with logistics operations to manufacturers, distributors, and others.

If you’ve been considering a career with third-party logistics, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about a third-party logistics career.

Ready to get started? Begin reading the article now!

What Is Third-Party Logistics?

Third-party logistics, otherwise known as 3PL, refers to outsourcing logistics services to companies that specialize in specific parts of the logistics process. For instance, many outsource their transportation and warehousing. Others may outsource their distribution services.

A 3PL company is an intermediary. But why is it so important? What is the role of a third-party logistics company in the supply chain?

There are a few different services that play a vital role in the supply chain process.

For starters, freight forwarding is one of them. A 3PL company can manage the transportation of goods and products from one place to another. On top of that, 3PL companies can help to manage transportation networks to choose the most cost-effective and efficient options to get the job done.

In addition to these two services, 3PLs can help with distribution as well as consulting to work within the industry to share best practices.

Types of Careers in 3PL

If you are interested in a career in supply chain management and or value providing great customer service, going into the logistics industry is a great idea. Even better, careers in third-party logistics may be just the right thing that you need!

There are many different opportunities within this field that you can choose from. Here are a few.

Transportation Manager

If you enjoy dealing with transportation, you could be a transportation manager. You would be responsible for coordinating the transportation of different products and goods, selecting the various carriers that the company uses, dealing with negotiating rates, and managing the schedule.

This is a very important part of 3PL – so you would need to be responsible and ready to take on the role!

Supply Chain Analyst

Another type of role in 3PL is a supply chain analyst. As an analyst, you would be responsible for analyzing the supply chain data. This means that you are determining how it is doing to create an opportunity to improve. From there, you would develop strategies to improve the overall logistics supply chain management.

If you are a problem solver, this is a great role for you.

Sales Rep

This is one of the more popular logistics careers in the industry. A sales representative is responsible for selling the services to prospective clients. In this role, a person needs to represent the third-party logistics company and pitch to potential clients about why they should use your company.

In addition to that, you would be on the sounding board for decisions in the company about how to market and where to go in the future.

Customer Service Representative

A customer service representative plays a huge role within the logistics industry. As a customer service rep, you are responsible for managing customer questions and complaints. You need to be able to answer their questions and provide assistance in a timely manner. You may also need to track orders, resolve issues, and ensure the quality of products.

Required Skills for 3PL

While there are many skills you need to be able to work in 3PL, you may also need to get a certification depending on the career you choose within the industry.

A few examples of supply chain certifications are:

  • APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional Certification
  • APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management

There are many others as well, but the good news is that they are not overly difficult to get!

But what other skills do you need to work in a career in the third-party logistics industry? Here are a few must-have skills:

  • Strong communication skills to communicate effectively with customers and carriers
  • Organizational skills to manage multiple tasks happening at once
  • Prioritization skills to meet important deadlines that come up
  • Problem-solving skills to identify and solve issues quickly
  • Technical skills such as understanding of logistics technology (TMS, WMS, and ERP software)

In addition to these skills, it is helpful to have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, logistics, or a related field. Although that’s the case, it is not always necessary to have. You need to talk to potential employers to find out what you need to apply.

Finding a Career in Third-Party Logistics

The logistics industry is one that will be around for a long time – it’s certainly not going anywhere! It is an industry that most manufacturers, and the entire supply chain, cannot go without.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a career in this industry, you are definitely going to do well! And now you know what you can expect if you choose to get a career in third-party logistics.

There are many options available for you!

Ready to see what careers may be available to you? Check out the careers we offer here at M&M Quality Solutions!

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