The past few years have been a bit hectic for manufacturers of solar panels, who have had to deal with ramifications of the U.S.-China trade war, COVID-19 and other market challenges. When it comes to warehousing and distribution, however, there is a key ally that can help to uncomplicate your business and minimize the impact of external challenges. This ally comes in the form of a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. In this article, we’ll examine the solar panel warehouse services a 3PL can offer.
3PL solar panel warehouse services
Whether your solar panels are imported from overseas or coming in from another U.S. distribution center, the 3PL warehouse can provide the following logistics services.
Warehousing services. 3PLs that perform the storage of heavy, industrial goods will have no problem handling solar panels. There are two basic 3PL warehousing models: public warehousing in which you pay only for the space and services you need, and contract warehousing in which an entire 3PL facility is dedicated to your operation. Your 3PL partner will manage your inventory, receive incoming product, and prepare outgoing product. Many 3PLs also offer climate-controlled storage.
Transportation services. In addition to storage and inventory management, a 3PL partner can help you get your panels into and out of the warehouse and on the move to their final destinations. Such services include drayage, in which your 3PL receives your containers at the port and transports them to its warehouse for storage or to the final destination. 3PL transportation services can also move your product from the warehouse directly to the job site.
Foreign trade zone (FTZ). Some 3PL warehouses located in or near U.S. ports operate as FTZs, meaning that they’re under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervision, but are considered outside of CBP territory. With an FTZ, product may enter the U.S. without a formal customs entry, without payment of duties or excise taxes, and without a thorough examination. It is only when the product enters the U.S. for distribution that these duties, taxes and tariffs are collected. You can store your product with a 3PL that has an FTZ to offset the impact of tariffs and/or simply to pay taxes and duties over time rather than paying them all at once.
Rail transloading. A solar panel warehouse can be served by lower-cost rail as opposed to over-the-road trucking. At Kanban, for instance, our distribution campus in Rocky Mount, North Carolina is served by CSX rail. Our warehouse has rail siding to handle incoming or outgoing freight directly between the warehouse and rail cars. We also have a transload yard in which freight from center-beam cars can be unloaded or loaded.
Lean on Kanban Logistics for solar panel warehouse services
If you’re looking for warehousing services for solar panels on the East Coast, look no further than Kanban Logistics. With over 1,500,000 square feet of storage across 9 North Carolina distribution centers, we have the space you require. And, as an ISO-9001-certified 3PL, we also have the expertise to execute your warehouse services to perfection. To learn more about our logistics services, contact Kanban Logistics today.