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3PLs have reasons to be cheerful

The onset of another period of economic hardship could have positive implications for the third party logistics (3PL) and storage industry.

That is the view of Michael Potts, managing director of Sussex-based 3PL specialist Flightstore Ltd.

"While it is clear that 2012 is likely to be a challenging year for many businesses, I believe that far from being a reason for doom, the economic climate could benefit logistics service providers who stay positive and entrepreneurial in their outlook," he says.

He continues: "When companies come under pressure to cut costs, the services offered by the 3PL sector become even more attractive.

"If the economy declines as forecast, companies that have operated their own storage facilities or distribution operations will come to see warehousing and transport as a very high fixed high cost.

"By offering flexibility and the chance to reduce assets those 3PLs that have optimised their own businesses, will be able to put forward an even more compelling business argument for outsourcing

"As a result, companies that have historically been reluctant to outsource may well be tempted to do so, as the real bottom line benefits of switching to a 3PL become ever more obvious."

Michael Potts also contends that independently owned companies such as his own have plenty of reasons to be upbeat.

"It is true that the 3PL industry has seen a period of consolidation and the big companies are getting bigger, but our customers tell us that they prefer the personal touch that companies such as Flightstore bring to a 3PL/client relationship.

"In fact, several of our current clients have moved away from bigger providers because they felt that their previous 3PL service provider lacked commitment to their business."

Flightstore offers a range of warehouse storage, self storage and distribution services to companies operating across diverse industry sectors.

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