Public warehousing companies and 3PL service providers overlap in a few key areas but also differ in many more. As a result, it’s important not to confuse the two when searching for public storage options since it can lead to having either inflated expectations about what you’ll be receiving or you could assume some key service isn’t being provided that you could in truth be taking advantage of.

What is a Public Warehouse?

A public warehouse is a lot like the name implies. It is a company that offers storage space to various businesses on a short or long-term basis with fees usually scaling based on duration and the amount of space needed. A public warehousing service will provide its own in-house equipment and workers to move items around, manage operations, and generally keep the facility running. Think of a public warehouse as an extremely large storage locker

What is 3PL?

3PL stands for third-party logistics and refers to a company that provides numerous services related to supply chain management. This includes, but is by no means limited to, warehousing, transportation, inventory management, packaging, returns, and shipping and distribution. In other words, 3PL providers offer service that relate to what happens to inventory before it gets to the warehouse, while it is at the warehouse, and how it gets from the warehouse to its final destination.

Differences Between Public Warehousing and 3PL

The most significant difference is that public warehouses offer a much more limited number of services compared to 3PL providers. Public warehouses may offer you a place to store inventory, but they do not do well at coordinating product movement, managing packaging and shipping, or other services if they offer them at all. 3PL meanwhile does take these needs into account and specializes in more seamless provisions of services. Although many 3PL companies also offer warehousing services, they take a much more comprehensive approach and see public storage as just one part of a process rather than the sole focus of an operation.

This does not necessarily mean that 3PL and public warehousing companies cannot work together. It is possible to find yourself in situations where you get your storage space from a public warehouse but bring in a 3PL company to oversee the movement of your inventory in and out. If you happen to own your own warehouse, a 3PL company could be used to manage and operate it as well.

Florida’s Full 3PL Service Provider

APS Fulfillment Inc. is a leading 3PL service company with numerous public storage locations throughout Florida. Our integrative approach tackles supply chain management, real-time inventory management, warehousing services, shipping, and everything else needed to ensure your goods get to their destination. We’ve stored, sorted, delivered, and quality-assured products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies across a wide variety of industries. Contact us by phone at 954-582-7450 or by email at [email protected] for more ways third-party logistics services can support and grow your business.