For Brands | July 21, 2023

Why The Future of Cannabis Fulfillment is Third-Party Logistics

3PL provides companies with crucial logistics infrastructure and support. When brands hit a growth point where managing in-house logistics becomes too much, 3PL is there with supply chain expertise and efficiency.

Outsourcing logistics is popular in other CPG markets, so it only makes sense that cannabis would follow suit as it matures. For the most part, cannabis CPG has similar pain points as any other packaged goods, but, due to US law, the market remains federally prohibited, creating numerous more pain points for operators.

With shipping, logistics, and seed-to-sale tracking rules differing by state, companies need help to keep up. That’s especially true for multi-state brands. But with a good degree of manual labor, data entry, and logistics to sort, the task is challenging to complete entirely in-house.

3PL provides brands in such binds with fast, secure shipping and fulfillment solutions.

Fulfillment Benefits with 3PL

Increase operational capacity

Brands often see the customer experience suffer when demand exceeds operational capacity. Typical issues include increased order errors and longer, delayed delivery times. No one wants to see this happen, but expanding space is expensive and time-consuming.

3PL leaders remedy pain points by providing various solutions, including:

– Product storage in partner warehouses so your brand doesn’t have to pack any more into its spaces

– Fulfillment experts who pick and pack orders in compliance with state seed-to-sale tracking laws

– A team of contracted professionals, keeping your staffing costs down to just the essential members


Fast, Accurate, And Compliant Delivery

Satisfying customers and regulators is essential to success. Efficient, accurate delivery is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty and reaching new consumers.

Retailers often place orders when products are almost out of stock. This costly error can lead to periods of empty store shelves, free of the products your customers want. Ordering so late into the cycle presents additional risks. Without a reliable transporter, your brand may not have access to temperature-controlled vehicles to get the products you need.

With proactive, in-depth insights, brands have more clarity, empowering them to take re-stocking steps when needed. With quicker delivery, brands can have the items they need on their shelves in days rather than weeks.

Reduce Cost Per Order With Supply Chain Efficiency

Using several pieces of software to handle fulfillment can often lead to inventory, accuracy, and order errors. Scheduling deliveries already requires a flurry of emails, phone calls and texts, eating into time and headspace. Add to the fact that products are often spread across multiple facilities, and you can understand why we call these issues headaches.

Outsourcing fulfillment to 3PL partners helps brands order quickly and get paid. Rather than relying on several systems, create consistency across your operations and reduce cost per order simultaneously. Remaining lean without physical distribution assets helps your company save on labor hours, software licenses, infrastructure space, and tools.

See how quickly those savings add up?

Shipping Benefits with 3PL

Easy Scheduling and Shipment Tracking

Companies occasionally run into slower-than-expected delivery times. And in some unfortunate cases, they may find out that their transportation provider is less than reliable or professional.

Usually, this issue is only found when inconsistent delivery experiences get reported by customers. With 3PL, customers can easily schedule shipments online. Say goodbye to messy spreadsheets and email threads thanks to quick tracking and shipment management.

Watch as your company optimizes its deliveries and reduces operating costs with an experienced logistics team and superior software.

Save On Labor and Shipping Costs

Ask any operator, and they’ll tell you that maintaining a fleet of trucks and a team of drivers is expensive. It’s also time-consuming when factoring in all those hours planning routes and managing deliveries.

3PL allows companies to offload the cost of a shipping team, a fleet of trucks, and the varying shipping costs that come with it. Customers have less on their plate managing internal ops when they turn to fulfillment and shipment specialists.

Financial predictability is another core component. Say goodbye to varying shipping rates and stabilize recurring expenses thanks to upfront flat-rate shipping.

Keep Partners Better Informed

Keeping customers updated on their orders is a must with any CPG, but updating every customer is time-consuming. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. In an age of automation, cannabis brands thrive with automated updates.

Partnering with 3PL providers helps brands:

– Better notify customers about order and shipment statuses with email and text updates

– Automatically share route details and compliance data using a shipping dashboard

– Quickly copy and paste shipping manifests or integrate your account with compliance software and state regulators


3PL Improves Compliance

Compliance is key. It keeps companies licensed, and it gets orders fulfilled. Orders get rejected if they aren’t compliant. And, if a shipping manifest isn’t 100% accurate, it is grounds for non-compliance fees and potential license suspensions.

Still, preparing shipping manifests with all the required compliance data is tedious. Thankfully, leading 3PL tech solutions are here.

3PL integrations make it easier to comply with stringent industry requirements for chain of custody, pedigree and product security. Connect your account with Metrc to pre-populate shipping manifests and a world of digitized workflow solutions to save time.

Nip those order rejections, non-compliance fees and license suspensions in the bud with a superior 3PL solution. Quickly access compliance data and use software to proactively prevent data entry errors.

The present is cannabis, and the future will only solidify that statement. Many have already seen the future and are collaborating with a 3PL partner.

Is now the right time for your company?

Discover today how LeafLink and our 3PL delivers fulfillment solutions to you and your customers.

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Our technology powers wholesale cannabis commerce. Since 2016, we’ve helped over 12,000 companies build relationships, process payments and ship products to retail. Our solutions service over $5B in annual GMV and support customers in over 30 markets.