logistics aggregator vs 3pl

Pros & Cons of Using Logistics Aggregators

Logistics aggregators offer flexibility, but is it better than working directly with a 3PL provider?
5 mins read
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Business is booming. Customers are loving your products. Your online store’s getting a ton of orders. But why are you feeling stressed out instead of celebrating this positive development? 

For one, you’re starting to see issues with managing shipping costs for your raw materials. Then, you’re noticing a trend in shipping delays. When both problems continue, you could lose customers and risk the good reputation of your business.

Today’s market and consumers demand speed, so ecommerce businesses need innovative solutions to streamline operations and meet current demand. One such solution gaining traction is relying on a logistics aggregator. These platforms offer a range of benefits but also come with their own set of limitations. 

So, is an aggregator the right logistics outsourcing solution for your business?

What are logistics aggregators?

Logistics aggregators are third-party platforms that consolidate shipping services from multiple carriers into a single interface. These platforms typically offer a range of services including rate comparison, label generation, tracking and customer support.

What can your ecommerce business expect?

The Advantages

1. Access to Multiple Carriers

A logistics or courier aggregator provides access to a wide network of carriers, offering businesses the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective and reliable shipping options for their specific needs.

2. Streamlined Processes

By centralizing shipping operations, aggregators simplify the logistics workflow, saving businesses time and reducing the likelihood of errors.

3. Cost Savings

Leveraging the collective shipping volumes of multiple businesses, aggregators are able to negotiate discounted rates with carriers, resulting in potential cost savings for individual merchants.

courier aggregator
Logistics aggregators may provide some flexibility to businesses, but they have some limitations, too.

The Limitations

1. Lack of Control

Although aggregators offer convenience, businesses may sacrifice some degree of control over their shipping processes. Issues such as courier selection, service quality and customer experience may be influenced by the aggregator’s decisions. 

Aggregators will have a different set of concerns from ecommerce businesses; an aggregator will seek to create long-term partnerships with couriers whereas your business will prioritize the needs of your customers.

2. Potential Service Limitations

Aggregators may not offer access to all couriers or shipping services, limiting options for businesses with specific shipping requirements or preferences. The limitation could also mean a lack of flexibility in negotiating value-added services, such as mode of transport and choice of vehicle, custom packaging and shipping labels, and returns management. 

Although an aggregator may be able to work out a better deal with some couriers, limited options means missing out on a provider that could help improve your business.

3. Dependency Risk

A middleman, which is essentially what logistics aggregators are, can present multiple risks. The platform could experience technical issues, downtime or disruptions in service. 

Because customer issues with couriers are sent to the aggregator and not directly to your business, delays are bound to happen. You might not be able to address the customer’s issue, which is bad for business.

Using logistics aggregators vs direct 3PL partner

Logistics aggregators offer convenience and cost savings, but some businesses can benefit more from direct partnerships with third-party logistics (3PL) providers for more personalized service and greater control over their supply chain.

Direct 3PL partnerships offer the following benefits:

1. Customized Solutions

3PL providers can tailor their services to meet the unique needs of each business, offering customized solutions for warehousing, fulfillment and shipping.

2. Dedicated Support

Direct partnerships often come with dedicated account managers who provide personalized support and guidance, helping businesses optimize their logistics strategies and navigate challenges.

outsourcing logistics
Working directly with 3PLs gives you better visibility on your inventory and faster issue resolutions.

3. Cost Reduction

While logistics aggregators can negotiate rates with multiple carriers, you’re still paying for their services. Partnering directly with a 3PL allows you to get better rates and more customized solutions, as you can directly communicate your business needs. 

You’ll have access to more competitive shipping rates that aggregators might not be able to secure for you. 

4. Time Savings

3PLs will centralize your shipping processes through a single platform. You can easily track your orders and inventory status, which will save time on many administrative tasks. This time-saving aspect allows you to focus more on your core skills and business needs.

5. Integrated Solutions

3PL providers may offer integrated solutions that encompass warehousing, fulfillment and transportation, providing a seamless end-to-end supply chain experience.

6. Scalability

As your ecommerce business grows, your shipping needs evolve. 3PL providers, like Ninja Van, offer scalability by easily adapting to your changing shipping needs using data-driven strategies.

What Ninja Fulfillment can do for your business that aggregators can’t?

Delivery is a key element in your ecommerce business. If your products aren’t getting to your customers, fast and on-time, complaints follow and sales decline. 

The best way to prevent these scenarios is to take control of your logistics needs. And Ninja Fulfillment gives you just that.

Ninja Van’s fulfillment centers will help your business get orders out in time through optimized delivery routes and a tech-enabled warehouse management system, exceeding customer expectations.

logistics outsourcing
Outsourcing your fulfillment to Ninja Van provides many benefits.

Through Ninja Fulfillment, your business benefits from:

  • Direct communication with the team. We provide full visibility and timely updates on warehouse activities and inventory movements through our warehouse management system.
  • Real-time inventory management. You can track your inventory from manufacturers or suppliers to our warehouses, and to the point of sale and delivery. 
  • Control over your inventory and shipment. We’ll give you real-time visibility on your inventory and automatically updates what needs replenishment so you’ll avoid stockouts.
  • Seamless marketplace integration. From Shopify to Lazada and other ecommerce platforms, Ninja Fulfillment features a full, dependable website and marketplace integration.
  • Access to one-stop logistics solutions. Ninja Fulfillment is just oane part of Ninja Van’s one-stop logistics solutions to businesses. We have a full suite of services from product procurement to inventory transport to last-mile delivery.

So, although logistics aggregators provide cost-effective and convenient shipping solutions in the short term, a direct partnership with the right 3PL provides greater control, customization and long-term benefits.

Outsourcing all your business logistics to Ninja Van is the better answer to your growing business needs. 

Partner with Ninja Fulfillment today and grow your business faster!

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