Why 3PL’s Are Embracing the Gig Economy


In just a few years, companies like Uber and Airbnb have leveraged the benefits of the gig economy and paved the way for others to deliver quality on-demand services using similar models. But you don’t have to be valued at over $50 billion to take advantage of it. In fact, it can be a huge advantage for manufacturers and third party logistics companies (3PL’s) as they continuously need workers to fulfill immediate needs and tasks. We put together our top four reasons why third party logistics companies operate in the gig economy, take a look below! 

1. High Costs Associated with Full-time Employees

Many third party logistics companies have experienced the high costs of employing workers, whether it’s health care, vacation or other administrative costs. On average, companies shell out $5,655 a year  to cover a single employee’s health insurance. Not to mention the recruiting costs associated with full-time employment, depending on the number of listings, a job advertisement can range anywhere from $250 to $3,500, which is why 3PL’s make perfect candidates for leveraging the gig economy. Instead of paying high costs for full-time employees, 3PL’s can utilize on-demand staffing platforms to effectively and efficiently fill workplace gaps.

2. Millennials in the Workforce

Millennials have shifted how the workforce operates. In fact, they’re the largest age group in the workforce. It is estimated that 57 million people in the US are employed as independent workers. 3PL companies understand that they need to evolve to those needs and wants. The gig economy allows 3PL’s to create and manage multi-generational workforces. With a variety of ages and experience levels these companies are becoming more strategic on how they manage their millennial workforce.

3. Technology Is Upfront and Center

The relationships between businesses and technology are evolving faster than ever. In a more streamlined and automated way 3PL companies are able to integrate more talent.. They turn to mobile to manage the daily operations of their warehouse. From talent acquisition to workforce assessment, to employee engagement, apps like Jobble allow operations managers to reach a wider pool of talented gig workers.  

4. Human Qualities Are Hard to Code

It’s undeniable that a large chunk of 3PL’s depend on the help of robotics to manage their companies. But as they’ve been developing this technology, they’ve realized that some jobs just rely on real people performing the job duties. Sure, in some aspects they are technology dependent, but the accuracy for many tasks in the industry are still being developed.

Humans will continue to be useful to 3PL’s because of their judgement and critical thinking, especially when it comes to responsibilities like picking and packing. Pick and pack services entail taking ordered goods out of stock and packing them so they can be effectively shipped to the end customer. This process involves manpower. With constant turnover in the industry, the gig economy allows 3PL’s to complete a variety of flexible order fulfillment options.

Change Up the Pace

The gig economy provides a change of pace for logistics companies, they can hire short-term workers to fill in at a warehouse for a four-hour shift if they want. With the gig economy in play, third party logistics companies can reap many benefits. Whether it’s becoming more efficient or becoming more flexible, on-demand employees fulfill many 3PL workforce gaps.

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