Advantages to Non-Asset Based 3PLs

Melton Logistics – 01/18/2024

Most businesses would rather focus on their core business activities than spend their valuable time and resources managing every step of their supply chain. 3PLs like Melton Logistics are here to help you focus more on the aspects of business that are important to you. However, not all 3PLs are created equal. Learn more about the types of 3PLs available to you and which would best fit your shipping needs.

What is a 3PL?

3PL stands for third-party logistics. A 3PL is an outside service provider that arranges various aspects of freight across all modes and stages of the supply chain. Think of 3PL as a term that encompasses freight brokerage but also includes services such as warehousing, vendor management, distribution, and fulfillment. For example, a 3PL can help shippers identify opportunities to consolidate shipments, optimize routing, and minimize empty miles, which can help reduce transportation costs—essentially hiring their experience, expertise, and leverage. A freight broker maintains dense networks of carriers, allowing them to negotiate better rates than shippers can obtain independently. Below are the two types of 3PLs you’ll encounter:

Asset Based 3PL Meaning

Asset based 3PLs are third-party logistics providers that own part of their supply chain, such as warehouses, trucks, or trailers. They have easy access to a certain type of transportation or step in the shipping process, but likely can’t fulfill a large variety of shipping needs.

Non-Asset Based 3PL

Non-asset based 3PLs do not own any part of the supply chain. They remain particularly unbiased when it comes to choosing transportation and warehousing provider-partners. They create a customized solution solely based on a shipper’s objectives and can match you with the right suppliers, vendors, and carriers to meet your shipping goals.

Benefits of a Non-Asset Based 3PL

Reduced Shipping Cost: Price leverage and bargaining power is a major benefit of using this 3PL. Non-asset based 3PLs often have large and trusted networks, established relationships, and buying power to reduce transportation rates.  Shippers can avoid managing the logistics of each shipment; instead, they can rely on their 3PL to manage the entire process, finding the carrier that best meets their needs at a lower price.

Melton Logistics 3pl employee working on her computer

Flexibility: 3PLs aren’t limited by the physical presence of company drivers or equipment. When an asset carrier doesn’t have a driver available or own a certain type of equipment, they can’t help you. Non-asset based 3PLs specialize in finding what you need.

Visibility: Another benefit of working with a non-asset based 3PL is improved visibility and tracking. These 3PLs typically have sophisticated tracking systems that allow shippers to monitor their shipments in real time, from pickup to delivery.  This level of visibility can be crucial for customers who often deal with larger, more complex shipments that require more detailed tracking and monitoring. With a non-asset based 3PL, shippers can have peace of mind knowing they have complete visibility and control over their shipments.

Expertise & Focus: Shipping can be complex and challenging, but working with this type of 3PL can help streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Non-asset based 3PLs use their networks and experience will all types of shipping to optimize the transportation needs for their customers—saving them valuable time and resources to focus on their core business activities.  Simply put, one point of contact gets them access to thousands of carriers with different equipment and specialized areas of expertise.

Working with Melton Logistics

Looking to arrange a shipment with a 3PL? Contact us to get matched with a Melton Logistics Account Manager.

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