Supply chain disruptions have caused bottlenecks throughout the country. Many of those bottlenecks involve shipping containers – difficulties getting them off of port or rail, unloading container contents into a warehouse, and getting them back to port. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that an East Coast 3PL can support these efforts, including container yard services.
3PL container yard services
3PLs are known for having “space” – space inside a warehouse, but also outside space such as outdoor warehousing or a container yard. Container yards are large spaces where containers can be stored. Such a space needs to be level and should have features like secured fencing, paving or graveling, lights, and a gate.
You might say: “A giant parking lot for containers? What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is that many of the current supply chain disruptions involve the inability to move containers. Warehouses are full of product, and warehouse yards are full of containers waiting to be unloaded. This logjam drastically slows operations and makes it difficult to perform inbound and outbound operations.
By partnering with a 3PL provider that offers container yard services, you can have a place to store containers as they await unloading. For instance, such a yard may allow you to drop a trailer at the destination warehouse during off hours so the driver can head home or to another stop. Yards can also store empty containers once they’re unloaded and ready to head back to the port or railyard.
When it comes to mitigating current supply chain challenges, this giant parking lot can be a very big deal for companies needing a temporary home for containers.
What other container services can a 3PL provide?
In addition to a container yard, your 3PL provider may offer the following container-related services.
Drayage. Drayage is the process of transporting a shipping container over the road from a port (e.g., a seaport or rail terminal) to its destination (e.g., a warehouse). This process typically covers short distances using drayage trucks and chassis. Drayage can also refer to this process in reverse: putting items from a warehouse into a container and then transporting that container over the road to a port.
Palletizing product. In many cases, your product will be floor loaded into your container overseas. Upon arrival, it is then up to you to palletize this product before it can be stored in a warehouse or delivered to a retailer. Your 3PL can do this for you, while (typically) providing the necessary pallets, shrink wrapping and labor needed to get the job done right.
Cross docking. Sometimes, you may want to skip long-term warehousing and get your products on the move quickly. With cross docking services, your 3PL can unload your container, palletize your products, and store them temporarily in a warehouse as they await distribution. Some 3PLs can even handle the last-mile transportation for you – further reducing the need for multiple providers.
Product segregation and transloading. Your 3PL can receive and palletize your products, segregate them according to destination, and load them onto separate trucks (or rail cars). This process is called transloading and it is another way of skipping long-term warehousing and getting goods on the move quickly.
Turn to Kanban Logistics for East Coast container services
Kanban Logistics offers over 1 million square feet of warehousing space in Eastern North Carolina. From our Rocky Mount facility, we can provide outdoor warehousing and container yard services on a fully-fenced 3-acre lot. The facility is also served by CSX rail and includes rail siding for incoming/outgoing rail shipments, as well as a transload yard to load/unload center beam railcars.
These container-related services are a part of a full suite of logistics services that include warehousing and inbound logistics services for manufacturers. To learn how we can support your operations during times of disruption or anytime, contact Kanban Logistics today.