3PL’s Big Moves

Third Party Logistics are competing with each other for shorter contracts.

businessmen run on a racetrack while carrying laptops simulating third party logistics competing in the face of shorter contracts

The explosion of third-party logistics companies that fill, pack and ship orders have fueled a subsequent explosion of online retail. The advent of the internet as a vital service makes it possible to order an ever-increasing variety of B2C and B2B goods.

Along with this change is a change in how 3PLs do business, and it’s one that squeezes. Contract terms used to be much longer – on the order of five to ten years. Once a client was locked in and the goods in the warehouse, that was a done deal for at least half a decade. There weren’t a lot of other places to go, so shopping around was hardly an option.

It was a lot like Henry Ford saying that you could have a Ford in any color you wanted – as long as it was black.


With broadband access, cloud distribution, SEO and SEM, and the explosion of the internet as modern marketplace 3PL is competitive and brutally so. Contracts have in that time shortened from ten years, to five years, to one year, to as little as six months.

If the client is not getting the service they expect, then it’s a short wait to get out of a contract and contract with another firm for fulfillment.

This makes it critical for smaller 3PLs to work out their pick rate productivity bugs and use pick to light supply chain management in their facility.

Rise of the Robots

Well, not yet. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are robots for order picking, but many companies cannot afford to implement a fully-robotic solution.

Non-ASRS robots for picking are out there, but many cases they may not work as well as human workers. Robots without AI and the ability to learn can only do what they are programmed to do.

Pickers can take a pick ticket, go to the item location, and if the item is not where it is expected, or if it’s not as indicated on the picklist, pickers can ask questions back up the chain.

AI equipped robots are out there, and can learn, but are still too capital intensive for most businesses to acquire and maintain.  However, there are ways to make picking faster and more efficient, as well as more accurate with the next generation of Pick-to-Light.

Lighten Up

Voodoo Robotics Pick-to-Light Devices are versatile and – more importantly – non-disruptive devices. Deployment does not involve facility or staff downtime, but instead, the placement of battery operated devices, simple software integration, can be done quickly and seamlessly, without interrupting your operation.

These devices can be put on shelves and bins, carts and forklifts, and just about anywhere.

10 Benefits of Voodoo Robotics Pick-to-Light System

Boom Not Bust

As the competitive world of 3PL heats up, smaller players need to show that they can offer the same speed, and the ability to scale up and down with the best of them.

Jump in with a demo, and try out a starter pack on your ten hottest SKUs and get ready to boom with better picking instead of busting up your business with inefficiencies.

Voodoo Robotics can help solve your order fulfillment challenges.

Get Started

Let’s have a conversation so we can better understand your needs and help you gain a competitive edge.

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