Many smaller businesses are also turning to Bridgewater Logistics to provide the expertise and capabilities they need to operate a world-class road transport, as well as distribution logistics operation.
“For many of these business owners, the complexity of the supply chain can be extremely daunting. They have, therefore, approached an expert in the field to provide them with in-depth industry knowledge and a proven track record in road transport, as well as distribution logistics operations. This has ensured that they remain competitive in an extremely transport-intensive economy,” Quinton de Villiers, managing director of this leading local 3PL, says.
By partnering Bridgewater Logistics, these companies have also been spared the large capital investment that is required to acquire warehousing and other important infrastructure that form the backbone of an effective supply-chain operation.
Certainly, they have also benefited from access to costly sophisticated technological solutions that are imperative to survival. These include, among others, cutting-edge warehouse and transportation management systems, incorporating advanced inventory tracking methods.
“Our smaller customers have been able to expand without laying out capital upfront, considering that we own and operate the facilities, systems and other resources needed for successful transportation. Conversely, companies that choose to rather acquire their own distribution infrastructure and human capital to operate it take substantial risk by tying up their cash flows, and this can lead to financial instability even for much larger and stable companies,” De Villiers says.
However, he warns that appointing a potential third-party logistics (3PL) provider can be fraught with difficulties if robust due diligence procedures are not followed right from the outset, considering that there are still many small businesses that fall prey to the many unscrupulous “fly-by-night” operators in the road-haulage industry.
Importantly, management should visit the sites of potential 3PL’s current clients, and not just the ones that were recommended, as part of this process.
They must also understand and challenge cost assumptions to ascertain the mix of fixed and variable types, and how this will impact on their businesses should volumes fall below plan. Moreover, it is vital that they know how the 3PL is making its margins and how big they are.
Bridgewater Logistics remains a preferred 3PL partner to many businesses, providing state-of-the-art capabilities that span line-haul transportation, distribution and warehousing.