The transportation and logistics industry is riddled with jargon. LTL, TL, pooled distribution, milk runs – these are all terms you hear or see in a carrier’s marketing materials. As a dedicated 3PL (there’s another term) provider for retail, we specialize in pooled distribution. It’s the act of delivering inventory to a brick and mortar retail outlet. The difference between pooled distribution and LTL (Less Than Load) is significant in terms of impact on the retailer. Here’s how:
Guaranteed Delivery Windows: We guarantee delivery within a certain window of time chosen by the retailer. That way, the retailer can ensure that they’re properly staffed to handle the unloading of a shipment, instead of being surprised on a light day. This window is not consistent across all locations and creates challenges for the carrier, but the advantages to the retailer are clear.
Multiple Stores: If you’re a retailer with multiple locations within a certain geographic region, you can plan to have all of those stores receive orders on the same day. A retailer can be assured that specific items will be stocked in their stores by a specific time, in the case of upcoming sales or promotions.
White Glove Deliveries: Many malls or stand-alone retail outlets do not have a receiving door at the back of the facility. Subsequently, the delivery must be made through the front and that may mean navigating the main corridors of a mall. Regardless, this requires a certain level of professionalism and training to ensure a satisfying experience for the retailer.
If your warehousing partner doesn’t offer store delivery, it might be time to consider the value of one that will. With multiple distribution centers and quality assurance, items are guaranteed to be in their stores when they’re supposed to be.