3PL Cleveland fulfillment center

Perks of Using a 3PL Cleveland Fulfillment Center to Move Your Goods

Virtually any company that relies on e-commerce can benefit from 3PL fulfillment services. Some of the most popular Cleveland fulfillment center services that we offer at On Time Delivery & Warehouse are bundling, warehousing, picking and packing, kitting, labeling, product coding & repacking, shipping (including same day shipping), inventory management, customs & import guidance, and logistics solutions.

Outsourced fulfillment services make the most sense for companies that:

  • Lack internal resources to ensure consistently robust warehousing capabilities.
  • Have minimal inventory management potential.
  • Don’t have enough time or staff to dedicate to shipping and distribution.

According to analysis by Grand View Research, the market value of global e-commerce fulfillment services is estimated to have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10 percent between now and 2030. That means it’s likely no matter what your field, a growing number of competitors will begin more fully appreciating the benefits of partnering with a third-party Cleveland fulfillment center to provide key services.

How Do Cleveland Fulfillment Center Partnerships Work?

When it comes to logistics and managing supply chains, even smaller operations may have complexities that can impact how fast orders are delivered to the end customer – and in what condition. There are often many puzzle pieces that need to fit together just right to ensure the desired outcome and timeline.

At the center of that puzzle is often the fulfillment center.

Fulfillment center operators can wear many hats, but they’re typically third parties responsible for processing and shipping products that have been ordered/purchased. These facilities are often large and centrally-located to ensure faster shipping times at lower costs. They can serve both business-to-consumer or business-to-business operations.

While the terms “fulfillment center” and “warehouse” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some differences. Most fulfillment centers are also warehouses or linked with warehousing services. However, not all warehouses are fulfillment centers. Whereas warehouses are places to store goods, materials, and products, the fulfillment center is responsible for meeting customer demands through efficient processing and shipping.

Half a Dozen Benefits of Quality Fulfillment Services

Outsourcing your distribution and fulfillment services can potentially reduce shipping costs by anywhere between 15 and 35 percent. That’s usually the most compelling draw for most companies. But there are other upsides too – some of which also contribute to the bottom line boost.

At the top of our list:

  1. Avoiding a brick-and-mortar investment. Although this trend started pre-2020, the pandemic threw into stark relief the fact that many operations are using more physical space than they need. Warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution services often require a lot of space – which can cost a lot of money, particularly if you are renting/paying taxes on/insuring/managing/equipping/staffing your own facility. It usually only makes sense for very large companies or those that consistently move huge volumes to manage their own fulfillment and distribution operations. For others, third-party logistics fulfillment centers are the ideal solution.
  2. Faster order processing. When you work with a dedicated fulfillment center, orders can typically ship faster than you’d be able to manage on your own. This is not only thanks to the central location and value-added services, but also the superior logistics team, which ensures a more efficient supply chain.
  3. Better shipping experiences. Of course, your customers want to receive their orders intact and on time – every time. But increasingly, they also want to be able to track their order in real time. They want to know right away if there’s a delay – or if it will be there sooner than expected. Proper packaging is important too, as is a fast turnaround time. A third-party fulfillment operation can provide these things easier than a firm that isn’t dedicated to full time warehousing and distribution.
  4. Greater scalability options. If you’re going to put the time, energy, and resources into establishing your own fulfillment center, it can be difficult to scale down – or up – as needed without losing money. If you get a sudden lull or surge in orders, a 3PL fulfillment center can accommodate those fluctuations without significant losses.
  5. Improved logistics. The complexities of inbound and outbound logistics can be overwhelming if that’s not your core operation. When you contract with a 3PL for fulfillment services, you get the benefit of experts with decades of experience in services like order processing, inventory management, picking and packing, warehousing, distribution, and more. When you entrust the logistics leg of your operation to logistics experts, you not only provide your customers with better service, you’re also better able to respond to supply chain volatility.
  6. Value-added services tailored to your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all business or organization, and there’s no one-size-fits-all package of warehousing and distribution services that are going to work for everyone. A well-managed fulfillment center can often provide customized value-added services so you get exactly what you need – and aren’t paying for things you don’t.
third-party logistics Cleveland fulfillment center

Choosing an Ohio Distribution & Fulfillment Service Provider

When you’re looking to contract with a Cleveland fulfillment center, some important considerations include:

  • Which services are provided? Most fulfillment service providers have some basic warehousing and shipping packages. But can the facility and their staff actually handle all the receiving, storing, picking, packing, labeling, kitting and other needs your operations and customers require?
  • What are their price points? The financial incentives are what typically draw customers to seek fulfillment center partners. But the key to get the most of your partnership is to carefully assess what you’re getting for what you’re paying. If certain services cost more than their competitors, is there a good reason for that? Ask too about whether they have shipping specialties for certain service areas, volumes, types of goods, etc.
  • How central is their location? Ideally, the fulfillment center you choose will be fairly close to your customers. The less distance they need to cover to complete your deliveries, the faster your orders can be fulfilled and the less it will cost you.
  • How is their responsiveness? Customer service is key in fulfillment. If something goes sideways or there is any type of disruption in your distribution process, you need to be able to reach someone who can help you remediate the issue right away. Transparency is also an element of this that’s worth inquiring about.

If you have questions about our Northeast Ohio fulfillment and distribution center, contact us for more information and a quote.

For information on Warehousing, Inventory Management, Fulfillment, Distribution, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Warehousing Giants Are Consolidating in a Shifting Real-Estate Market, June 13, 2022, By Liz Young, The Wall Street Journal

More Blog Entries:

Perks of Cleveland Public Warehousing, Nov. 23, 2022, Ohio Warehousing Blog

Cleveland public warehousing

Perks of Cleveland Public Warehousing

Cleveland public warehousing and distribution demand is at an all-time high.

The Journal of Commerce attributes overall warehousing demand in part to the second-quarter surge in imports that led to higher inventories. From this emerged a greater need for logistics and distribution space – particularly in the Midwest and other inland hubs. Beyond that, shifting distribution patterns that emerged during the pandemic have opened new corridors, driving higher demand in markets that used to be considered secondary. Plus, warehouses in major supply chain hubs start brimming to peak capacity, it’s the adjacent smaller markets that absorb the overflow.

Growth in this sector may mean organizations have fewer Ohio warehousing options to choose from, but it’s still important to carefully consider whether the facilities you’re eyeing can check all those “must have” boxes. For many small-to-midsized businesses, that has increasingly meant opting for Cleveland public warehousing vs. private warehousing.

What is the Difference Between Public & Private Warehousing?

As an industry sector, warehousing has evolved far beyond the times of a simple storage space. Today, warehousing is widely recognized as a central service relied upon by industries of all kinds – from consumer goods to manufacturing to retail. As an industry sector, it’s evolved far beyond

Large corporations with high volume product turnover often opt for private warehousing, in which they own or rent warehousing space that is internally operated and overseen. But for any organizations lacking the infrastructure, expertise, and capacity to take on these responsibilities, private warehousing is an attractive alternative that offers affordability, flexibility, efficiency, and convenience.

Put simply, a public warehouse is usually a large facility owned/operated by a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that offers storage space, inventory management, product fulfillment, kitting and packaging, and distribution services to many different businesses.

Cleveland public warehousing costs are typically based per-square-foot, with add-on services available depending on the customer’s needs. Some warehouses require minimum average order volume and/or higher storage rates for slower-moving shipments.

Outsourcing Northeast Ohio warehouse functions is smart when companies:

  • Are just starting out and/or are relatively small.
  • Have unpredictable inventory cycles.
  • Need specialized storage and distribution.
  • Lack the investment capital, bandwidth, time, or desire to invest in opening, staffing, and maintaining a warehouse in-house.

It’s important if you’re in the market for public warehouse space to make sure your top picks are not only cost-effective but centrally-located with scalability potential and a great reputation.

Key Benefits of Cleveland Public Warehousing

Among the primary advantages of public warehousing:

  • Low investment. Private warehouses are very expensive. There’s procuring and/or building the structure itself. Then there’s maintaining the building, covering all operational expenses, recruiting/training/supervising workers, investing in technology to boost transparency and efficiency, and paying all tax-related expenses. With public warehouses, it’s essentially turnkey.
  • Experience and expertise. Labor is usually the biggest expense for most businesses – especially if you want good people. Public warehousing allows companies to avoid direct management of that labor, while still trusting that the workers are knowledgeable and skilled.
  • Specialty storage. If you require Ohio warehousing facilities with certain specialty requirements such as FDA registration or hazardous material capacity, it’s often easier to onboard with a public warehouse rather than start from scratch on your own. Not every public warehouse will be capable of fulfilling every specialty requirement, but they can usually refer you to one nearby that does.
  • Location. Warehousing real estate goes for a premium these days. It’s increasingly tougher to find/build warehouse property in key markets for reasonable costs. Warehouse location is a key consideration when you’re looking to optimize distribution and find reliable workers. 3PL public warehouse providers are often already established – and right where you need them.
  • Flexibility. Markets fluctuate all the time. Public warehousing allows for flexibility during ebb-and-flow cycles. Easy scalability means greater cost efficiency when companies aren’t paying for space they don’t use.
  • Add-on services. Things like kitting, packing, assembling, labeling – these are services that many public warehouses offer.

If you have questions about whether our Cleveland public warehousing facilities can meet your needs, contact us for a consultation.

For information on Northeast Ohio Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

US warehousing demand shifting inland: JLL, Aug. 16, 2022, By William B. Cassidy, Journal of Commerce Online

More Blog Entries:

Tips for Choosing an Ohio Warehouse, Oct. 27, 2022, Northeast Ohio Public Warehousing Blog

Ohio warehouse

Tips for Choosing an Ohio Warehouse

Warehousing is a crucial link in your supply chain network – in both global and domestic markets. Choosing the right Ohio warehouse for your operational needs can make a sizable difference in your firm’s ability to be efficient, effective, and profitable.

With Ohio warehouse space and labor at a premium, outsourcing often makes sense – especially if you can find a place that also provides services like packaging, repackaging, kitting, labeling, and distribution. Bonus if it’s near an airport.

When warehousing is done correctly, it provides numerous benefits beyond basic storage. Some of those include:

  • Facilitates increased turnover.
  • Improves production.
  • Decreases shrinkage.
  • Maximizes customer satisfaction with fewer products damaged in transit.
  • Optimizes safety for workers and your goods.

Still, there is no denying warehousing costs have risen markedly in recent years. That’s thanks in large part to soaring e-commerce demand, which has expanded nearly 30 percent in the last three years. Even despite some predicted slowdowns on the horizon, the pandemic revealed that consumer consumption can be fairly resilient to economic cycles. Warehousing rent has climbed 3 percent a quarter nationally since 2020, reaching nearly $9.56/square foot earlier this year, according to The New York Times. (In some markets, it’s more than $15/square foot.)

If you’re looking for an Ohio warehouse that delivers great value for the cost, here are some priorities you’ll want to bear in mind to ensure you find the right fit.

  • Location and accessibility to major linkages. Identify what mode – or modes – of transport is best-suited for your company’s operations. The warehouse that’s right for you will have easy access to that transport mode. For example, if air transport is one of the most efficient means of getting your goods from Point A to Point B, you will ideally find an Ohio warehouse that is within 20 miles or less of a major airport. (On Time Delivery & Warehouse, for instance, is just 4 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.) You also want to identify where your customers are primarily located. Warehousing that is close to your customer base can give you the advantage of more timely, cost-effective deliveries. Finally, an accessible warehouse that offers easy highway connectivity and few traffic backups so that trucks don’t waste time idling and goods get where they need to go as efficiently as possible.
  • Diversity of capabilities. An Ohio warehouse with a broad range of capabilities is going to offer a better deal than those that offer storage and nothing else. If you can get integrated solutions for things like logistics planning, kitting, packaging and repackaging, labeling and sorting, CFS Freight, and distribution, it helps your firm come out ahead. Asset-based warehouse solutions – those that invest not only in the facility but in a transportation fleet and skilled workers – can offer a higher level of warehousing service.
  • Experience. With new warehouses in Northeast Ohio cropping up daily, it’s a good idea to consider the experience of the provider. Newer facilities may offer some advantages, but take a look also at the operational dates. Supply chain logistics has always been a dynamic, evolving industry. Warehouse providers that have been around a while have the advantage of invaluable insights that have allowed them to stand the test of time.
  • Material handling capacities. The warehouse you choose needs to have the availability of staging capacities and handling equipment that matches your demands. What kind of docks are you going to need? Will you need a facility with cross-docking capabilities? CFS? Last-mile delivery services? All this will help you determine which of your warehousing options will best suit your needs.
  • Technology. Advancing technology has fundamentally altered the way warehouses operate – from electronic data exchanges to pick-by-vision systems to real-time product tracking. Keeping customers happy means providing them not only with faster results, but transparency through the process. Technology has been vital to that. Make sure the warehousing company you choose has the systems in place that will allow you to best serve your client base.
  • Minimized risks. Handling, storing, and shipping products is not without risk. You want a warehousing management team that is fully aware of those risks, takes them seriously, values their team members’ safety, has appropriate safety measures in place, and invests in adequate insurance in case something does go wrong.
  • Taxes and rates. Of course, cost needs to be considered. Compare each facility’s rental rate per-square-foot against the value they’re providing. Depending on your operation type, there may also be certain state or regional tax implications or incentives to weigh.

At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we recognize that warehousing is an integral part of your operations – and we take our role in that seriously. Our goal is to help our clients maximize efficiency, excel, and ensure their own customers are fully satisfied with services that deliver their goods intact, on time, every time.

For information on Northeast Ohio Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Industrial Facilities Near Airports Command Rent Premiums, Oct. 5, 2022, CBRE

More Blog Entries:

6 Supply Chain Insights From Northeast Ohio Third-Party Logistics Warehouse Pros, Aug. 28, 2022, Cleveland, Ohio Warehousing Blog

Cleveland 3PL

Leveraging Cleveland 3PL Resources to Prep Your Supply Chain for Peak Season

Supply chain instability and challenges – from labor shortages to backlogged ports to pricey spot truck rates – have basically been the status quo ever since the pandemic. Although some aspects may be starting to even out, Cleveland 3PL experts at On Time Delivery & Warehouse recognize that with the height of peak season 2022 on the horizon, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are bracing for these challenges to take on greater significance. Those able to effectively leverage the resources of a Cleveland 3PL trucking, warehouse, and logistics firm will ultimately be the ones that carve out a competitive advantage.

In general, peak season typically occurs annually, starting with the back-to-school shopping season in late summer and rounds out sometime in November, just after Black Friday (with a final holiday rush in late December). However, some suppliers say that with unpredictable surge-and-trickle demands, those clear seasonal trends have been tougher to nail down.

Still, logistics industry insiders are predicting tsunamis of demand in certain sectors, with ripple effects spreading far beyond those directly in the center. That could mean we’re likely to see delivery delays, price increases, and further labor shortages. Northeast Ohio companies seeking to minimize their vulnerability to supply chain challenges would be wise to tap into the resources offered by a dedicated Cleveland 3PL.

Primary Peak Season Challenges

To effectively prepare for the challenges of peak season, you must first identify what that time frame is for you – in your industry, your region, and your organization specifically. That alone can be tricky, particularly given the lack of market predictability in recent years.

This is one area where a Cleveland 3PL can help. You know your business, but we know supply chains. We utilize the latest data software to analyze inventory and the movement of goods critical to your operations. Once we pinpoint trends, weaknesses, and bottlenecks in your supply chain, we help create a strategic end-to-end plan to minimize delays and losses.

Some common issues likely to arise:

  • Fluctuation in peak season length. When you know how long your peak season is going to be, you can better prepare by matching the appropriate level of seasonal labor and delivery costs. Even when it’s difficult to nail down, there may still be precautions we can suggest to help you minimize the consequences.
  • Inaccurate volume forecasting. This has been especially challenging in recent years. A third-party logistics firm can help with accurate data analysis to better identify when spikes and lulls can likely be anticipated – and prepare effective responses if outcomes deviate from earlier predictions.
  • Lack of efficiency in labor management. If you’re trying to manage your own operations while also managing your own supply chain, warehousing, and delivery can be next to impossible for some firms – particularly when you’re under additional demand pressures. Transparency, accurate communication, and proper training are imperatives. Errors and oversights can result in wastefulness and depletion of customer confidence.

Peak season predicaments can sometimes be forecasted, but not always. Working with a competent Cleveland 3PL helps ensure you are better prepared for both the known and the unknown.

Cleveland 3PL Predicts Warehouse Bottlenecks Likely to Be a Problem This Peak Season

Although industries vary on the specific challenges they face during peak season, our Cleveland 3PL is fairly certain as we head into the last quarter of 2022 that warehousing bottlenecks will become nearly everyone’s problem.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that the shipping capacity struggles that were apparent at traffic-snarled seaports has been moving inland the last few months. It’s only likely to be exacerbated. As those of us in the logistics field know, trailers needed to transport goods on trucks are already being tied up – sometimes for weeks on end, even as demand for container ships has waned – because so many warehouses are at capacity. Distribution hubs in the Midwest and throughout the U.S. are seeing lengthy delays.

Recognizing these headaches are likely to drag on well into next year, our Cleveland third-party logistics professionals work closely with clients to arrange the most streamlined, cost-efficient modes and methods of shipping, storage, and delivery. We can help you access the most up-to-date, transparent data to help identify optimal rates, diversify carrier relationships, hone in on flexible warehousing partners, and anticipate reasonable timelines.

For information on 3PL Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Warehouse Bottlenecks Are Snarling U.S. Supply Chains, Aug. 26, 2022, By Paul Berger, The Wall Street Journal

More Blog Entries:

6 Supply Chain Insights From Northeast Ohio Third-Party Logistics Warehouse Pros, Aug. 28, 2022, On Time Delivery & Warehouse Blog

Northeast Ohio third-party logistics 3PL

6 Supply Chain Insights From Northeast Ohio Third-Party Logistics Warehouse Pros

As Northeast Ohio third-party logistics warehouse professionals, we understand the complexities of supply chain management better than anyone. Increasingly, it’s important that our clients have a grasp of them as well.

In recent years, the volatility of local and global supply chains has been on full display not only to manufacturers and distributors but consumers as well. There is a growing expectation that savvy businesses will take measures not just to respond to supply chain hiccups when they arise, but to become better at predicting and preparing for their inevitability.

Working with an Ohio third-party logistics team helps your company to do that. It also provides consumers with broader transparency and more responsive communication when problems occur.

With this in mind, the Ohio 3PL team at On Time Delivery & Warehouse offers the following list of basic supply chain insights.

Modern supply chains are increasingly complex.

Most supply chains can be broken down into two basic segments: Production and distribution. But that’s really where the simplicity ends.

Consider, for instance, a basic laptop computer. It can easily have 3,000 different parts. Your typical Ford truck? It’s likely to have at least 30,000 components. An effective supply chain is going to have numerous layers of varying sophistication, typically involving specialists who can supply certain components. Often, businesses end up with many layers of supply chains – and it can get even murkier when your suppliers don’t want you to know who their suppliers are, for fear you’ll just go around them if possible. This can be especially problematic if a lower-tier supply shuts down – and you aren’t even made aware of it until a certain time period. That can eventually lead to major supply chain snarls – which is precisely what we saw during the pandemic.

On the distribution end of things, issues with congested ports and labor shortages have resulted in bottlenecks. Working with an Ohio third-party logistics company helps ensure you if something falls through, you have alternative routes and means (by road, air, and sea).

Unexpected Demand May Not Mean What You Think.

Customers signal their demand by making purchases. This prompts businesses to ramp up supply. But this sort of demand forecasting can cause problems if spikes are interpreted as fundamental shifts in demand.

We saw this during COVID-19 when it came to things like exercise bikes. There were huge customer demands, retailers flooded their suppliers with orders, suppliers started cranking up production and returned the flow back to retailers – who by then realized they had too much and cut back substantially on future orders. This lead to major supply chain headaches – manufacturers cut production, suppliers were left with an overstock of raw materials and customers were left cooling their heels for extended periods waiting for deliveries.

When it comes to sudden demand spikes, it’s best to proceed with a degree of caution.

Just-In-Time Production Can Be a Practical Solution.

To avoid the whiplash of sudden demand spikes that just as suddenly fall, some companies have found just-in-time production a practical solution. As our Ohio third-party logistics pros can explain, just-in-time production involves making precisely what you need – and only when you need it. The idea is you’re only carrying as much inventory as you need, raw materials get delivered only just in time. If there is an issue with any of those parts/raw materials, the impact is typically minimal because the orders are smaller.

However, this solution really only makes sense when suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors are relatively close and/or when the supply chains are fairly lean. If your network is more global, trying to work out exactly when you’re going to need a delivery – and how much it will be – can be tricky. It can lead to problems when you factor in demand spikes and supply chain bottlenecks (particularly those involving international shipments, which can get held up for weeks on end).

Just-in-time production can work for some companies, but it’s wise to consult with your 3PL to see whether your supply chain has any weak links that can be tightened first.

The Bigger Your Supply Chain, the More Opportunities for Disruption.

Many companies rely on lengthy distribution chains. For example, if you’re shipping furniture from a factory in Sweden to a store in Northeast Ohio, you might need an air leg, an ocean leg, a rail leg, and truck transfers. The more links your supply chain has, the riskier it may be, particularly when each link directly depends on the smooth function of all the others. Keep in mind too – some of those links depend on cogs and sprockets that are on different tracks entirely.

Longer logistics threads are more vulnerable to delays than shorter ones. When you work with a third-party logistics partner, you have the benefit not only of transparency and seeing potential issues just before or immediately after they arise, but also alternatives when that happens.

Northeast Ohio third-party logistics warehousing professionals provide supply chain insight and effective solutions

Ordering More Than Necessary May Exacerbate Shortages.

Ideally, companies are only going to order as much of an item as they think they are going to consume or sell until the following cycle. However, if you forecast that a certain product may become particularly in-demand, it may seem smart to order extra.

However, where this is a problem is that some companies might start ordering double or triple what they actually need. This not only leads to shortages in the immediate, but can result in companies having far too much inventory – which inevitably leads to the need for more warehouse space, etc. You may end up with further losses if you’re forced to slash prices to just to offload it.

It can be tough to determine the exact right amount of just-in-case product to keep on hand. It’s a balancing act. Working with a dedicated Ohio third-party logistics team can help ensure both communication and supply chain visibility so that you can accurately forecast just how much you’re going to need.

Ohio Third-Party Logistics Partner Can Help Reduce Bottlenecks By Providing Big Picture Snapshots.

Bottlenecks in the supply chain are commonly the result of a lack of visibility – both for what’s in the pipeline on its way to you and then what comes after.

For example, it’s easy to see hundreds of ships stalled at a port and conclude, “Clearly, lack of efficiency at the port is the problem.” In reality, the actual issue might be that there was poor communication among downstream distribution centers. You could increase the port’s capacity 200 percent by keeping it open 24-7, but it’s not going to make much difference in the backlog if there is no one to pick up those goods or nowhere for it to immediately go.

Working with a team of skilled, experienced 3PL professionals can help provide a big picture lens, allowing you to identify potential issues before they become a major problem – easing the flow of goods downstream all the way to your customers.

If you have questions about how our Northeast Ohio third-party logistics warehousing & trucking team can help improve your supply chain visibility and flow, we’re here to provide further insight.

For information on 3PL Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Supply Chain Pressures Ebbed in July, Aug. 15, 2022, Central Banks Research, The Wall Street Journal

More Blog Entries:

Cleveland 3PL Recommends Ample Planning to Cope With Packaging Shortage, June 28, 2022, Northeast Ohio Warehousing News Blog

Cleveland warehousing

Cleveland Warehousing Helps Businesses Optimize Resources, Maximize Profits

Cleveland warehousing is an element of operations that many small businesses in Northeast Ohio cannot afford to overlook if they manufacture, export, or transport goods in any capacity.

Although many companies will try to manage their own warehouse duties in-house, doing so efficiently can quickly become all-consuming – and close to impossible. That’s why many businesses ultimately end up outsourcing Cleveland warehousing functions to a third-party logistics provider.

What makes some firms reticent to take the first step on the initial investment is the cost. But in the end, outsourcing Cleveland warehousing functions has proven time and again to boost productivity, improve on-time-deliveries and customer satisfaction, and save money.

The customer’s journey isn’t over once the order is placed. Working with a dedicated 3PL warehouse provides you with greater transparency and control to ensure customers receive their products intact and on-time – and to promptly notify them of any issues if that isn’t going to be the case.

Cleveland warehousing 3PL

Benefits of Partnering with a 3PL for Cleveland Warehousing

If you’re considering a warehouse partnership with a third-party logistics firm, it’s important to go into it knowing what you hope to gain. Some of the top benefits that our Cleveland warehousing customers have identified as holding the most value:

  • Improved inventory management. It’s estimated that 8 percent of small businesses fail to track their inventory. Stunningly, nearly a quarter don’t maintain inventory at all. In effect, order processing and shipments may be delayed, resulting in poor customer experience. When you have a centrally-located warehouse that is dialed in with freight logistics capabilities, it becomes easier to track, manage, and ship your inventory. You’ll have the advantage of low-stock alerts well in advance of when you’re potentially risking running out. This will also allow you to give customers potential alternatives, as opposed to simply keeping them waiting in the dark.
  • Efficient packing and processing. A solid warehousing partner goes beyond simply storing your goods. It has the supplies, the equipment, and the staff to move, package, and process your orders. Pallet racks, packing materials, loading docks – these are just a few examples of what a third-party warehouse may be able to offer.
  • First-rate customer service. According to RetailDive.com, nearly 65 percent of online shoppers expect their free shipping order to arrive within three business days. At the very least, there is an expectation that customers know – and be kept updated about – the estimated or guaranteed delivery time. Nearly 90 percent are willing to pay more to ensure faster delivery. The speed of delivery is sometimes the No. 1 thing buyers consider when deciding their shipping method. So as a business owner, this is something you must take seriously. If you fail to deliver orders on time, your reputation can tank and you may hemorrhage customers. When you’re working with an experienced warehousing partner, you can arrange for optimized distribution and timely delivery. This reduces errors and potential product damage during the order fulfillment process. Warehouses can also help keep your goods safe and secure, reducing the odds items will get lost or stolen during handling.
  • Price stabilization. There are lots of factors that can influence the price of a product from month to month or year after year. Warehousing does provide some opportunity for price stability, though, because it allows businesses to store goods for a later date, when demand may be higher. Consistent stock levels can help ensure you can offer consistent prices to your clientele.
  • Better risk management. In addition to serving as a buffer from wild pricing swings, warehousing can offer risk management services that will minimize your losses due to improper storage, packing, and deliveries. Goods that are properly packed, stored, sorted, and picked will have a longer shelf life, which means you aren’t losing product unnecessarily.

If you are looking for a warehousing and logistics partner in Northeast Ohio, On Time Delivery & Warehouse has a reputation as a leader in the field. Our customers trust us to provide quality warehousing services, inventory tracking, and distribution – so that your goods make it to their destination intact, on time, every time.

For information on 3PL Warehousing and Inventory Management Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Peak shipping season ahead of the holidays is about to begin for a volatile supply chain, July 29, 2022, By Lori Ann LaRocco, CNBC

More Blog Entries:

Federal Shipping Reform Impact to Cleveland Warehousing, Trucking, June 20, 2022, Ohio Warehousing Blog

Cleveland inventory management

Benefits of Outsourcing Cleveland Inventory Management

Inventory management is a systematic approach to sourcing, storing, and selling inventory. That includes both raw components and finished products. Your Cleveland inventory management strategy must involve swift and accurate identification of the right stock, at the correct levels, in the right time and place – and at the ideal price point.

Inventory management involves numerous duties, including:

  • Controlling and overseeing purchases
  • Maintaining the storage of stock
  • Controlling the amount of product for sale
  • Order fulfillment

This is a huge responsibility – and tough to consistently nail down without the proper systems and professionals in place. That’s why many companies opt to outsource this component of their supply chain.

Cleveland inventory management

Any company in a goods-based business recognizes the impact of inventory management on operational efficiency. Lack of adequate inventory will mean lost sales and unsatisfied customers. Too much inventory will mean higher costs for storage and management, less cash on hand, and reduced value of your products. The U.S. government recognizes the value of proper inventory management to the extent that publicly-traded companies are actually required to track inventory and document management systems if they want to be compliant with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Exact inventory management systems can vary from business-to-business, depending on their size, the types of products sold, and the channels through which they’re sold. That said, partnering with a third-party logistics company means you have the benefit of a system that’s flexible, processes that have been proven, and professionals who are experienced.

Here, we’re going to run through the benefits of outsourcing Cleveland inventory management one-by-one.

Cleveland CFS freight blocking & bracing

Importance of Blocking & Bracing Cleveland CFS Cargo

Blocking & bracing are essential to ensure maximum protection of your Cleveland CFS cargo.

As our logistics professionals can explain, meticulous planning is critical in container loads to ensure equal weight distribution during transit. It’s especially important for damage prevention when moving larger-sized loads.

Properly securing cargo may take a bit of extra effort, but it ultimately saves you time and money, increases safety, protects business relationships, and is required by state and federal laws.

We work to correctly block & brace every portion of loaded freight containers, ensuring your cargo gets where it needs to be – intact, on time, every time.

What is Blocking & Bracing?

Blocking is the means of preventing loads from moving laterally (side-to-side, front-to-back). Bracing, meanwhile, is the means of preventing vertical movement (up-and-down). Failure to brace properly can result in loads jumping over the blocks. And if the blocks aren’t implemented properly, the braces aren’t going to hold.

Visualize your heavy load resting in a container. Some assume that because it’s heavy, it’s unlikely to budge much. This is a miscalculation – a potentially catastrophic one. As our Cleveland CFS cargo experts can explain, once a container is moving, the internal object’s momentum in any direction is going to be proportionate to its weight.

Whatever the mode – whether it’s rail, truck, or ship – proper blocking, bracing, and loading is critical. It’s also important to understand that these techniques differ from load-to-load.

In the case of CFS shipments prepped for intermodal transport (cross-country or international), expect the potential for all kinds of jostling movements, including:

  • Forward surges
  • Front-to-back pitching
  • Side-to-side rolling
  • Up-and-down heaving
  • Irregular motions
  • Vibrations
  • Sudden impacts

When your shipment is properly blocked and braced, it’s going to be protected on every leg of the journey.

Cleveland CFS freight blocking & bracing

Some of the factors impacting how we block and brace:

  • Container size
  • Loading type (cartons, drums, pallets, etc.)
  • Dimensions
  • Number of pallets or units
  • Weights
  • Whether the cargo will be loaded onto pallets or floor-loaded
Cleveland 3PL warehousing

Cleveland 3PL Warehousing Must Evolve With Shifts in Customer Demand

Top-performing businesses have always felt big pressure to earn and maintain superior customer satisfaction. These days, however, they’re faced with the herculean task of doing so while grappling with the aftermath of a global pandemic, long-standing labor shortages, and a seemingly unrelenting stream of supply chain disruptions. The good news is: These challenges too shall pass – eventually. However, some recent changes are part of bigger movements that are likely here to stay. Primarily, these include booming e-commerce sales, high demand for direct-to-consumer deliveries, and robust enforcement of warehouse worker rights. One way to gain an edge on the competition is by working with a dedicated Cleveland 3PL warehousing & distribution company – particularly one with a rock solid reputation and the flexibility to shift amid changing times and customer demands.

Recently, the Logistics Managers Index (which measures U.S. supply chain pressures) rose to a record-high. This reflects not only soaring inflation costs impacting inventory and logistics, but also the waning amount of available warehousing space. Bloomberg reports inventory stockpiles many companies purchased during the pandemic may be contributing. Companies are now holding excess inventory at premium rates, something likely to continue for at least another year. Consumer hesitance driven by inflation appears to be further exacerbating the issue. On the flip side, given the global supply chain tumult of late, many manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers have seen the value of having at least some inventory stockpiled so they aren’t caught short.

In any case, one thing is clear: Whereas warehousing was once considered an afterthought for most companies, it’s now recognized as a critical element in the go-to-market strategy for most firms.

“It’s sort of like the shift we saw with the information technology sector in the early aughts,” explained On Time Delivery & Warehouse CEO Anthony Figliano. “What was once basically a background function quickly became a pivotal part of intraorganizational planning – and for good reason. Today, it’s the warehousing and distribution functions that are increasingly acknowledged as mission critical.

“But of course, that’s been at the core of our wheelhouse from the start, so we’ve always recognized its inherent value. As 3PL partners, we’re as committed as ever to continuing to meet fluctuating demands with both top speed and accuracy.”

Ohio warehouse & logistics

Ohio Warehouse & Logistics Labor Oversight to Increase

The safety and well-being of our valued Ohio warehouse & logistics workers have always been an imperative at On Time Delivery & Warehouse.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that given the heightened demands being placed on warehousing and logistics employees, it would be launching a new initiative to vigorously enforce these workers’ wage and hour rights and safety protections.

“The increased demand and constraints on the global supply chain have combined to place enormous strain on the nation’s warehouse and logistics industries,” the DOL said in a news release.

Regulators are ramping up federal enforcement to ensure employees are safe from harassment, paid their legally-owed wages, and are afforded proper family and medical leave in accordance with applicable employment laws. They’ll also be watching for potential misclassification of employees as independent contractors, a practice that tends to result in underpaid wages and benefits, as well as an unfair competitive advantage for companies in the free market.

Of course, the agency has had its eye on the industry for some time now. But the pandemic underscored the critical economic function of warehouse workers, truckers, delivery drivers, and other Ohio warehouse & logistics professionals. Ongoing supply chain exigencies have left more than few logistics firms scrambling to keep pace. Still, the DOL doesn’t see that as an excuse to make concessions on worker pay and safety measures. The recent announcement involves news that the agency is hiring more than 100 new wage and hour investigators – with more likely on the way.

Our Ohio Warehouse & Logistics Team is Committed to Worker Safety and Customer Satisfaction

We recognize that Northeast Ohio warehouse & logistics costs and challenges have risen in recent months, but investment in dedicated employees and their well-being is a core tenet on which our team has never compromised. We’ve had this commitment dialed in for decades, so the DOL’s announcement has no real impact on our day-to-day activities.

Meanwhile, companies that are just launching and/or struggling may want to reconsider any internal warehousing and logistics operations – especially knowing that there will be additional federal oversight and zero room to cut corners without significant penalties.