Public Warehouse v. 3PL Service Providers: What’s the Difference?

A recent analysis by commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE Group, Inc. revealed retail-to-warehouse conversions are soaring, in large part due to the way people shop. Big box stores are becoming less lucrative while e-commerce is booming. As this trend continues, Cleveland 3PL service providers at On Time Delivery & Warehouse urge companies to recognize there is a big difference between companies that solely provide public warehouse space and the extensive services you get with a third-party logistics firm.Cleveland 3PL service providers

The retail-to-warehouse place-trading involves a broad range of projects, including demolition of old malls and remodeling warehouse retail stores into distribution centers. CBRE also found that while demand for warehouse space overshot supply last year by nearly 30 million square feet. Industrial real estate availability fell to its lowest level since 2000, with only 7 percent up for grabs. Retail space, on the other hand, is much more prevalent. However, just because the space is there doesn’t mean it’s primed and move-in ready. Issues have included trouble with rezoning (which requires local government buy-in) and difficulty convincing other stakeholders like co-tenants to go along.

Companies in Cleveland looking to expand or outsource some of their warehousing services must understand that while public warehouse space-only services do offer some benefits, they’re far less than what you get teaming with Cleveland 3PL service providers. 

What is a Public Warehouse? 

As noted by The Balance Small Business, public warehouses are businesses that provide short- or long-term storage to other businesses on a short- or long-term basis, typically month-to-month. They may charge per-pallet or or per-square-foot.

Some public warehouses offer inventory counts or inventory management and possibly some shipping function. A offer clients the option of bringing their own ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.  It can sometimes result in a long-term arrangement, but it’s usually seen as a short-term solution.

What are Cleveland 3PL Service Providers? 

For those who may not be familiar, 3PL stands for third-party logistics. Cleveland 3PL service providers like On Time Delivery & Warehouse offer a host of services to assist businesses with supply chain management.

Our services include not just warehousing but inventory management, packaging, returning, transportation, shipping and distribution. Put another way: We provide services that get the inventory to the warehouse, manage services for inventory at the warehouse and then help it get from the warehouse to its intended final destination.

So… What’s the Difference? 

The most substantial contrast between public warehouses and 3PL service providers is that 3PLs offer a much broader range of services. Public warehouses will give you room for your inventory, but they aren’t going to help you coordinate how the product gets there. They aren’t going to help you in undertaking shipping and management of packaging. Some don’t offer any services at all.

Conversely, the best Cleveland 3PL service providers are going to take into account the needs for each client. Our specialty is in providing seamless supply chains that get your product to its destination – intact and on time.

On Time Delivery & Warehouse does offer secure public warehousing space in Cleveland (90,000 feet of it, plus 5  acres of outdoor storage) – but we offer a much more complete list of services than simply just storing your stuff. We see that as a single part of a much bigger process. We also offer product coding and repacking, devanning, inventory management, distribution and fulfillment, short-and-long-term contracts, cross-docking, a centralized examination station, same-day shipping, transloading, shipping – and much more.

In some cases, 3PL service providers can work with companies that solely provide public warehousing. You may find you want to bring in a 3PL to help monitor the movement of your products after you have already secured public warehouse space. Owners of warehouses sometimes find they benefit from hiring a 3PL to help manage all the stock they are responsible for overseeing. Whether that’s more beneficial than keeping it all centrally-located will depend on the size of your firm and individual needs. 

On Time Delivery & Warehouse is a top Cleveland 3PL service provider with a comprehensive approach to supply chain management, warehousing services, management of inventory and shipping.

If you have questions about Cleveland third-party logistics and supply chain management, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.

Additional Resources:

U.S. MarketFlash | Trading Places: Retail Properties Converted to Industrial Use, Jan. 30, 2019, CBRE

More Blog Entries:

Supply Chain Management Statistics That Might Surprise You, July 30, 2018, Cleveland 3PL Service Providers Blog

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